Hills of Erieville

My grandmother’s house in the countryside of Central New York has always been an escape for me.
With the exception of National Parks, visiting there was the closest I had ever gotten to almost complete isolation in the rolling hills.
Beyond the garden, I had never gone past the trails my grandfather had made.
So, when I had visited for holiday, and the weather was nice (and Winston the puppy needed a walk), I went up, and observed.

Stepping out of the house with the dog so many feet ahead of me (Springer Spaniels are hyper dogs), I took in the rolling hills as the sun began to set.
I saw the vast trees and the farm buildings many miles away.
The sound of horses broke my trance as I saw her neighbor’s horses grazing in the field.
Before I traveled further back I stopped in the wide front to see my grandfather’s apple trees (as well as his next door neighbor’s sheep).
They (being in springtime) weren’t ready yet.
So I made my way up the hill with the sheep’s call echoing behind me.

The garden’s bounty was yet to come (with me looking forward to an abundance of redcurrant and blueberry).
The peony bloomed outside near the start of the trail (which is shown here), courtesy of my grandmother.
Walking up the back trail, I could hear the neighbors cows in the distance, breaking the silence of the woods.
The tall grass was soft to the touch, in contrast to the small amount of mud that stuck to my shoe.
Once I reached a clearing, I looked around the small field where nothing had grown, but an old shed stood to the right near the edge.
I continued on the trail once I spotted a wild turkey ahead.

I ended up reaching the backwoods about five or ten minutes into my walk, looking out into the trees, spotting my grandfather’s tree stand.
As I continued walking, I found some wild leeks in the ground.
I ended up taking them with me, thinking it could be useful for salad.
I raced Winston down the hill, accidentally falling on my side, getting leaves and sticks in my hair.
Once I reached the clearing before the start of the right trail, I looked back out onto the vast hill, breathing in the fresh air, with a new perspective.


Technology in an Educational Setting

Before taking this course, I had never really given technology much thought. Sure, it could help me figure out information or definitions of words to win an argument, but I had never thought beyond that idea of the capabilties that technology had in store. When registering for the course, I had thought that the term “Digital Literature” meant that, for discussions, we would be focusing on how techology affected reading as a whole, such as the rise of e-books or fanfiction on popular media sights such as Wattpad.

I came into the course with no expectations, and was pleasently surprised by how thought-provoking the discussions would be. In taking this course and actively engaging in class, I gained an understanding of just how many women contributed to the development of the computer and the internet. I also gained a better understanding of how computers worked when it comes to the organization of my files. This has helped me to reorganize my computer system so that it’s a bit easier to access.

I was confused at first when we were introduced to Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I had frequently thought to myself: “He’s a philosopher. How could he have anything to do with technology and literature?” But the more I read Walden, and the more I listened to the lectures, I slowly began to understand why Thoreau is so important as a topic for the course.

The idea of transcriptions within literature is not a new concept. With techology, that process gets easier. But with the actual text itself, I can understand what he means when he discusses advancements (not in direct relation to technology). Thoreau’s discussions of simple living and isolation are facinating to read and bring back tiny snip-bits of memories of going to the countryside to visit my grandmother for the weekend. He discusses how technology is a positive change and how it is better to embrace advances made overtime as well as treating them with a hint of skepticism.

These views tie into this course as well as another course I am taking: “Impact of Social Media”. In this course, we have had frequent discussions about the negative and positve impacts of technology and how we interact with the world. In a sense, these courses have made me truly realize how much technology I truly use in my life and how much we as a society depend on technology for our livelyhoods.