Author: Elyse Manosh

From the Girl With the Best Halloween Costume

Fourth grade. That’s about when the intersection of computers and the humanities first dawned on me. I’m referring to a literal intersection wherein one uses a computer to write literature — I’m not quite sure if that was the intended interpretation of the assignment prompt, but hey, what’s an English class without a variance of interpretations?

My relationship with computers essentially started because I loved literature. I loved it so much that I wanted to create my own one day, and therefore adopted the mindset that there’s no time like the present to do so. Don’t mind me as I introduce a shameless plug: when prompted in an ice-breaker activity, my fun fact is always that I wrote four books by fifth grade. By books, do I mean Microsoft Word documents no more than 100 pages? Absolutely. Was one Halloween costume during this era an author (yes, I literally dressed up as “an author,” complete with a construction-paper-cutout Pulitzer Prize badge)? You bet.

Now that you have a proper image in your mind of who I was as a child, you have a general idea of what my afternoons probably looked like. I would get home from school, get any homework out of the way, go upstairs to our family-shared 2005 Dell Desktop…and write. I still have a copy of my most acclaimed work, Fifth Grade Never Ends. Ironic given the title, this was the “book” I wrote in fourth grade. My parents told my teacher about it, who arranged an “author reading” in which I would read my book aloud to my classmates every day after recess. Everyone got a copy, and my teacher even held an author signing. The entire scenario was one of the nicest gestures anyone had ever done for me up to that point. (Ms. Donofrio, this is a shoutout to you!)

My relationship with computers can be implied as a comfortable one from this story. My machine gave me the tools I needed to express myself in a way I loved. It also enriched my relationship with literature (the humanities, you could argue) itself by becoming the vehicle to produce my own writing. It is also worth noting that I used to run several blogs and websites on which I published some of my writing. I used WordPress and another website that I can’t remember anymore, but for my website, I had learned basics of HTML! So, as we’ve started to skim the surface of coding in this class with Atom, it looks vaguely familiar to me. I came into the course with a familiarity of WordPress and a quasi-familiarity of HTML, so using a blog as an alternative for writing hard-copy papers is something I find comfortable!

I touched on my loving relationship with my good ol’ Dell back in the day. As for my relationship with my current MacBook, sorry Dell, but I’ve moved on to better things. I understand the ongoing debate of the worthiness of Apple products and the dangers of the Apple monopoly. First and foremost, I admit that I am fully under the Apple spell. I suppose it goes without saying that I enjoy the accessibility of Apple. With three products (phone, laptop, and watch), I haven’t had any overbearing issues (with the exception of the planned obsolescence of the iPhone to make way for the new models, which yes, is frustrating). I never considered myself a “tech-whiz” — I call CIT when I need help just like the rest of us. I also just learned that you can access your iCloud account by literally typing in “iCloud.com.” If computer comfortability was a spectrum, though, I would place myself in the middle of “average” and “Steve Jobs.” It’s fun to learn more about your machine with a group of people. Personally, I’ve gotten a kick out of using Slack as a way to communicate efficiently with my peers and the professor; in a class this size, it makes so much sense!

I look forward to extending my computer comfortability and awakening some HTML memories with you all. Who knows? Maybe by the end of the semester, I’ll drop my blog web address from sixth grade so we can bond over my awkwardness.