I have to admit I was nervous coming into English 340. I feel comfortable with basic computer skills, and my friends often come to me for help with simple tasks. Last semester, I took an IT course and learned the basics of Microsoft Office. However, prior to this class, the most advanced experience I had with computers did not extend beyond editing the HTML for my Tumblr page in middle school to display a playlist and sparkly cursor.
Throughout school, English has always been my favorite subject. I love learning about art and literature, and it has always piqued my interest the most. I do not excel as much in science and technology, and these subjects are always a challenge for me. I decided to take this course not only because I needed to credit for my major, but also because I wanted to enhance my computing skills without getting too far out of my comfort zone.
Combining technology with humanities sounded like a great way for me to learn about computers without losing interest. In the past few weeks, I already feel like I have improved my computer skills and grown more comfortable with software like Virtual Box and Atom, which I never even knew existed before. Being able to complete tasks on the computer in class and follow along successfully feels very rewarding, and I actually enjoy learning new tools and techniques. I never thought of trying to learn how to code because it is something I always assumed I would simply never be able to do. It has been a pleasant surprise to find out that I am capable of doing at least the very basics of coding. Incorporating humanities into technology has made me more confident and comfortable than I ever thought I would be while taking a computer class.
To be honest, I never really thought about the connection between technology— computers and coding especially—and the humanities. James Gleick’s The Information has opened my eyes to the many ways technology is being incorporated more and more into the humanities. Technology impacts the way information is stored, shared, and accessed. Culture is changing around technological developments, thus influencing the types of humanistic work that is being produced and shared. With the prominence of technology in today’s society, it is inevitable that it will become intertwined with the humanities. I am looking forward to learning more about this connection, and to see my computing skills continue to grow.