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Technology: the Terrifying Tool?

Image from Chungkong Art
“Three billion human lives ended on August 29, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the Machines.”


It begins, as always, with video games.

Back in 2003, on my fifth birthday, my parents got me a small gaming device called a “Gameboy”, a product that has since become somewhat defunct due to those “cell-phones” everyone seems to carry around. Poor five-year-old David was absolutely terrified of the thing. I remember just staring at that vapid black screen three-inch screen, the empty blackness unsettling me. Strange that I didn’t view TVs the same way, which were far larger and more imposing in their emptiness. Perhaps it was my role as an active agent in the life of Mario, or Sonic, or whichever gaming mascot populated the gaming cartridge that concerned me so. TV was just TV, something you watched. But being launched into a virtual world where I controlled what happened to that jolly Italian plumber in red and blue? Far too anxiety-inducing for me. I refused to touch the device for months, out of fear that Mario would die for good, or, even worse, that it would explode in my hands! Since then, I’ve maintained a healthy distance from any technology whatsoever, out of fear of its spontaneous combustion in my hands.

… Is that the future we face with “technology”?

Of course it sounds ridiculous to retroactively compare the worries of an anxiety-ridden child to fifteen years down the line, when technology has become such an intrinsic part of my own daily routine. Wake up, use the facilities, check email. Second on my to-do list. I’m sure this is replicated by the vast majority of the college campus. We need to be connected because everyone else is connected, and if you aren’t connected, then you’re going to get behind, you’re going to miss out on opportunities. Keeping my finger on the pulse of what is happening on campus and beyond has allowed me to stay in touch with our ever-changing world. As a humanities major with a vested interest in pop culture, it’s of vital importance. Our technology has become a massive fruit tree, where you can reach out and pluck whatever glob of knowledge you’d like to.

My knowledge of computer functions has always been of a fairly moderate level. I can usually cruise through a series of systems directories and find a file, or solve some basic computer issues (it usually helps to just turn it off and on again). I’d like to learn the mechanical aspects of my computers as well as how it functions in the humanities.

My computer has always been the device through which I experience whatever sort of medium I want. It’s a vessel that carries me from a place of ignorance to a place of knowledge. I discovered ambient and post-rock music because I was trying to find something that wasn’t distracting while I studied; I’ve found strange or off-kilter films from talking on discussion forums with people across the continent; I’ve connected with absolute strangers thanks to our mutual interests, sometimes those connections forming into long-lasting friendships.

I’ve grown somewhat attached to my past computers over the years. I like to view them as that friend who constantly supplies you with fun new materials or topics that pique your interest. So, of course, I give them all names (it makes it much harder to scrap the tech once it slows down). Russell, my weather-beaten, warhorse of a laptop, has saved me from however many sticky situations in my college career. I don’t view it (him?) as just a tool; it seems nobler than that, more elevated.

Sometimes, people say that we shouldn’t give names to our technology, that it’s only just a piece of metal and machinery. Well, yes of course it’s just a piece of technology; but so is a car, a house, a spatula, a microwave, even a book. We ought to be more appreciative of the things that we vitally rely on, to consider the amount of time, effort, and resources that was put into things that we take for granted. I took a class with the unmatched Dr. Ken Cooper last semester (the excellent “Conversations: Renewable Futures”) that discussed at length our inability to fully respect the things we consume. After all, our first instinct after we consume something is not “What happens to it now?” but “What will I get next?” Computers don’t really seem to be going anywhere, so perhaps it’s time to stop being so blasé in how we produce and consume them.

I was afraid of the Gameboy because I didn’t understand it; it was something unfamiliar, something that required self-assertion and independence to run. People are afraid of technology because it’s something that offers the possibility of human interaction without the flesh and blood involved, it’s something alien. But I don’t want to sit around and be afraid of a three-inch screen anymore. If this is going to be a part of our world, then I’d like to know how to use it, I’d like to teach other people that it isn’t just something to be afraid of, but something to embrace, to study, to realize the opportunities it gives us.

So guess you could say I like to maintain my respect for technology. After all, you never know when it will explode.

Using Computers to Join the Conversation

As a young adult in our technology-driven society who is constantly within reach of my phone and or laptop, and is able to easily use both to accomplish my daily needs, I came into this course thinking that I was highly proficient in the use of computers and technology. After the past few weeks, I have come to realize that I was wrong: there is a lot that I do not know about computers. While I had previously only used my computer to type documents for school such as papers and notes, along with using Google Chrome and occasionally Excel, English 340 has opened me up to an entire world of computing that I did not know existed. At first, using applications like Atom and Virtual Box was a daunting task to me, but working with both applications has gradually increased my comfort with these types of computational tools. I now realize that there is so much I have to learn about computers, and I’m excited to see the difference in my skills from now to the end of the semester.

Going beyond my relationship with my computer to examine the relationship between computers and humanities, I’d like to first define humanities. Humanities are the study of human culture and society, and in academic disciples include the study of languages, literature, philosophy, the arts, and other subjects that examine the human race. Coming into the course, when I thought about humanities and computers, the first thing that came to my mind was the use of computers in conducting research about literature. When I read the title of the class, “Literature Study in a Digital Age,” I assumed the digital part of the course would be doing research on computers about the texts we read. I thought we would mostly be writing research papers and pictured myself using search browsers such as Jstor and Google Scholar. I thought (and still do think) that computers are very useful in the field of humanities because they give people the ability to spread information on a very large scale: if I search a database like Jstor, I can find literature and scholarly articles from all over the world, as well as from many years ago. In this way, technology has a power to connect people from different places and times. Although places such as libraries gave people access to research before computers were widespread, online databases give people access to much more information than a library can hold. Digital humanities also provides a platform for less established writers, researchers, and scholars to share thoughts, ideas, and scholarly work. Instead of having to publish work in a traditional manner, platforms like blogging sites (including WordPress, the one I am using now), allow writers and thinkers to discuss humanities on a less formal basis. This leads me to a point that has been at the center of my academic career at Geneseo: having a “conversation” in English and the humanities. In high school, I wrote papers in which I summarized ideas I read in literature or in scholarly articles. Once I got to college, I was introduced to the idea of joining a conversation in literature, or the “they say, I say,” format, in which I was taught to summarize an argument I read about in a text in order to set up my own unique argument or ideas. Computers and technology give people like me a platform to share our “I say,” and join the conversation about humanities. While if computers did not exist, I could still write about texts and distribute it to others, my work would not reach nearly as large of an audience as it can through online platforms such as blogs.

These are some preexisting ideas I had about the relationship between computers and humanities, but after the first month of English 340 I have realized that there is so much more for me to learn. Before entering the class, I had never heard of coding, markdown, or plain text files. I’m excited to continue to learn how to use this knowledge in my study of the humanities. In our last class, we used Python to examine word choice in texts. Using a tool to see how many “z’s” or “e’s” were in Thoreau’s Walden was not something I could have previously imagined being able to do. I’m ready to continue to learn new ways to analyze text using digital resources and new computer tools to strengthen my ability to use technology to understand literature.

My Machine and I

I had never considered that Digital Humanities can act as a link between computing and the study of human culture. I’ve developed an array of computation skills over my lifetime and they have helped me find a platform to express myself, and also see the ways that others have expressed themselves. Our machines provide a means for us to access any kind of information we choose; whether it be a paper, photograph, or a song. All of these materials that exist online have been created by an individual who intends to document their personal human thoughts, relations, and feelings, and I love producing and sharing the forms of documentation that I have personally created; whether it is posting a picture on Instagram, or sharing a short story that I wrote on my blog. It is powerful and meaningful to be able to contribute to the collection of culture that exists online and to add to the mediums that help us study the human experience through our past, previous, and future selves. I have now become aware that Humanities enables us to understand others through their languages, histories and cultures, and it adds a dimension of questioning and deep thinking as we attempt to decipher the world around us.
While I do not have much prior knowledge about computing, I know that computers are very effective tools for research, recreation, and socialization. Computers are machines that allow us to access a seemingly infinite amount of information, which is crucial for discovering and developing new ideas. This is an essential tool for students, including me, but the appeal of computers extends far beyond academics. Computers are taking over. Not literally, but they are so widely available in the United States that it is difficult to avoid incorporating them into daily life. I don’t remember a time in my life where I was without a computer, quite honestly. Computers provide numerous ways of relaxing because they harness the power to play movies, television shows, and video games (or e-books, which are totally better, just saying). Finally, through communication technology such as social media and messaging services, computers allow us to stay connected to friends and family all across the globe. When I miss my family and my friends, they are just one Skype call away. This would have been practically unthinkable one hundred years ago, but today, the ability to instantly interact with people hundreds or even thousands of miles away has become accepted as the norm. Plus, the role of computers is immensely important even beyond my daily life, as governments and corporations rely on the power of computers to perform many of their administrative functions.
As a college student, my computer fills a critical niche in my daily life. I consider my computer to be an extension of myself, and aside from the fact that I rarely go anywhere without it; I use it to send emails, complete assignments, and compile research. My machine allows me to easily gather all the information that I may need for an assignment, and many professors assign online only work. Having my own computer is a lifesaver, as I always have access to it, which makes it rare to have to rely on a library computer or a friend’s. I am very aware of the fact that if I were to lose this computer, I would lose a vital part of my everyday world. When I need to unwind on the weekend or after a long day of class, I immediately make a beeline for my computer. My friends are always available for FaceTime or iMessage and my favorite shows are always on Netflix. My computer feeds into my online shopping addiction, and I have gained so much appreciation for online ordering and Amazon since coming to Geneseo. Personally, I have taken many of the functions that my computer can perform for granted. It is easy to type a paper on Google Docs and use the italics and bold buttons. However, it takes time to learn how to use markdown language, and insert the same commands yourself. It seems simple enough to create a journal on Microsoft Word or Pages, but it is extraordinarily different to keep a journal in Atom, a plain text editor, where specific functions are no longer automatic. I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about the machine that does so much for me. I think it is fair to say that my computer is an absolutely essential component of my life, and while it’s something that I can survive without, its absence would make life a lot more difficult.

Videos and Video Games

One of the biggest reasons why I chose to take this course was out of pure interest. An English course focused on technology? Sign me up! I was mostly intrigued on the idea of how Humanities, and English specifically, contributed to aspect of technology. Growing up, I always saw English as merely the study of history through literature, with high school as the biggest offender; William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, and Charles Dickens were merely seen as names to recognize with the occasional passage or two that needed to be read. Naturally, coming to Geneseo as an English major, this perspective quickly changed as I began to understand what the study of literature actually entailed. Despite this, I kept the mentality that computers were in a whole other ballpark than English. In fact, some of my classes reinforced this idea, with nearly all of my professors banning technology during class time, and all of them requiring physical copies of the texts we planned to use, the separation of the humanities and technology became normalized for me.

Depending on your definition, I could either be very knowledgeable about my computing skills, or a complete novice. I was never particularly savvy with the inner workings of a computer or its base functions. The most complicated function I have been able to accomplish, previous to this course, was to use the command line to find and connect the Public Toshiba printers to my laptop so that I could print from anywhere. As someone who grew up playing video games, I am much more proficient in using software than anything else when it comes to using a computer. Perhaps one of my favorite things to do in a video game is to add a modification to it. All mods are made by the community of people who play the game and depending on the popularity of the game, there can sometimes be hundreds, if not thousands, of unique mods made by different people. A great example of this is a game from the popular series, ‘The Elder Scrolls’, Skyrim. This game, which is a fairly typical role playing game set in the standard fantasy setting. In this game there will be a variety of non-playable characters including, people, monsters, and animals. One such animal is the ever-so-famous mudcrab. As can be seen below, one of the many mods you can install takes the crab and make him seem much more…sophisticated.

The free time I spend on a computer includes things other than putting top hats and monocles on crabs. I new hobby of mine would include the usage of video editing software. One of my longtime dreams was to take certain aspects of my favorite media, such as a TV show or movie, and combine it with something else. The video below demonstrates exactly what it is that I had in mind. For context, what you see is entirely from a trailer for the previously mentioned Skyrim. The sounds, however, are all replaced and are instead from the cartoon show, “Ed, Edd, and Eddy.”

As I have mentioned before, I play a lot of video games. Some people have game consoles, however I play a majority of my games on a computer and so have become very attached to my laptop. I care for my laptop much in the same way that someone would feel towards a stuffed animal or an old blanket. It is for this reason that I am always hesitant to take my laptop out of my room, especially when it’s for a class. Having my laptop be damaged or stolen is a fear that always creeps into the back of my mind whenever it is in a place that isn’t deemed secure by me.

My Relationship with Computing

       Coming into this course was one of the first times I truly had no idea what to expect, but I was undoubtedly excited to see what was in store. Truthfully, the main basis for my decision to take this class was because I needed an English class for my major, it seemed particularly attractive being a Monday/Wednesday class, and Dr. Schacht had a high “” rating. I would liken my relationship with computing to my relationship with mathematics. In middle school and high school, I was never the biggest fan of math classes, simply because I found them to be the most difficult. Whenever I could not figure out a problem I would get unnecessarily stressed out. However, on the same token, whenever I did do well in my trigonometry, algebra, AP calculus classes, etc., it was an amazing feeling that made me want to keep learning and do more math problems. This is the same way I feel about computers. I don’t know how to do a lot of things with my computer, and previous to this class, I often didn’t try to learn, because it would stress me out when I inevitably couldn’t figure something out. But whenever something works for me in ENGL 340 and I’m on the right track, it makes me excited and eager to explore more new apps, networks, features, tricks, etc.

        The extent of my knowledge and capability with computing prior to this class was essentially just using the basic social media applications that most people have on their phones, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. As for the applications I had installed on my laptop prior to this class, I only had two other than those that are pre-installed: Spotify and Grammarly. As for coding, the earliest and only previous experience I had with it before taking this class was the copy and pasting of HTML code I would do to create the theme of my Tumblr in middle school.

       Now, it is only the fifth week of this class and I feel that I have learned so much and am still learning new things every day, specifically with the software applications Atom and VirtualBox. Before using Atom in this class, I had not only never heard of it before, but I had never really coded before, let alone know the differences between languages we’ve used in class like markdown and HTML. Another topic that I never thought much about before this class is the relationship between computing and the humanities. I always subconsciously considered the two mutually exclusive, and never really considered how each contributes to the other. I find it very interesting and new that this is the first English class I’ve taken at Geneseo where I’ve used my laptop for more than just to take notes, write papers, or look something up. Our work in class along with our reading of Gleick’s The Information has made the relationship between the humanities and computing much more apparent to me. I’ve learned that the digital aspect of “digital humanities” allows us to expand the power, accessibility, and speed of the things that are already being done in the humanities, such as preserving the past, analyzing texts, communication, etc. Computing is a prominent contributor to the preservation and the progression of the humanities, and I am eager to continue to learn and expand my knowledge of the digital humanities in this class.

Me and My Computer: A Toxic Relationship

As far as I’ve ever been concerned, computers and general technological work have been a source of constant struggle and frustration. The first computer I ever owned, at the ripe age of five, was a 1999 Dell Dimensional. Bought at a neighbor’s garage sale, this piece of machinery is probably in a museum now, regarded as the slowest and most nonfunctional computer in history. This computer (which was sans internet due to my parents’ legitimate fear for me and my two brothers surfing the web precariously), was used primarily for the applications: Microsoft Word and Paint. The fond memories I have of this technological masterpiece we dubbed the “Kid’s Computer” (because of it’s lack of operation and it’s primary users being myself and my two brothers), are predominantly comprised of me spending the entirety of my allotted thirty minutes hitting the side of the monitor, slamming on the keyboard, and screaming just about every bad word I knew to really let the computer know how I felt. As you can probably imagine, having this be the start to my relationship with computers was not especially beneficial, as well as super annoying to my poor parents.
To get an image of what this bad boy looked like

In the fourteen years following, I have learned little about computers. I have always tried to avoid extensive use of these elusive machines. For the most part, my computer’s sole operation has been for online shopping. This strategy worked well for me for a while, but proved to be incredibly difficult, and quite frankly very frustrating to maintain when I started college. In my first semester of collegiate education, my laptop was mainly used for Microsoft Word and Google. Microsoft Word to type up important papers, and Google when I didn’t know how to perform a certain function in Microsoft Word. Whenever I needed assistance beyond Google, I would contact a close friend of mine (who builds computers for fun) or bother the associates at Milne Library’s CIT Help Desk for hours.

It was in a physics lab when I realized I couldn’t keep up this inability, and truthfully, fear to use extensive computer functions forever. In this lab, we were required to enter several data sets into Microsoft Excel and produce multiple different graphs and tables. While our lab instructor did walk us through basically every step, the lesson was fast paced (assuming that most people of college-age have used Excel before, a fair assumption to make), and apparently easy for me to miss one step and become completely lost. I called the instructor over to my desk a total of eleven times that day. Eleven times. I asked myself the question, “Is it acceptable to cry during a lab out of confusion and frustration?” About an hour in, I found that my personal answer was indeed: yes. After this incident that I’ve deemed the “Excel Debacle”, I concluded that I needed help. I want to work as an English teacher after graduating college, and in today’s ever changing technological world, it is essential that I learn basic functionality with computers.

While browsing Geneseo’s course catalog for the 2019 Spring semester, I came across this class: ENGL 340: Lit & Lit Study in the Digital Age. I didn’t know quite what this meant but knew that it would most likely have something to do with computers. This fact, of course, intimidated me. However, having known Dr. Schacht from a previous course, I knew that his passion for technology and indefinite willingness to assist his students may just be exactly what I need in my journey to learning how to use my computer more efficiently.

Upon entering said course, I learned quickly that I would learn much more than basic computational functions. In fact, our introduction to this course was focused heavily upon the “digital aspect of the humanities”. My instinct was to question this. Being a life-long lover of the humanities, and self-proclaimed humanist, I was dumbfounded by the correlation between the digital age and the humanities. How could something with such a strong focus in before computers were even a thought harmonize with the digital world? Throughout the introductory weeks of this course, I have learned the basic association between these two elements. Humanists are essential to technology in order to give humanistic meaning to the mathematics and computing that works behind the scenes in computers. However, I am admittedly still unclear of the deeper meaning of the connection of these elements. Nevertheless, I am excited about the prospect of what this class, Lit and Lit in the Digital Age will teach me about both the inner workings of my computer, as well as the humanistic relationship to the digital age. Hopefully, after the conclusion of this course, Geneseo’s CIT employees will be seeing a lot less of me!

In Search of Convenience

In my family, I’ve always been the humanities kid. I like stories and the way words can be strung together to form a rhythm. I think perhaps the main reason for my affinity towards the humanities is that I’m relatively “good” at it; I read quickly while retaining information and I have a lot of opinions so I’m good at adding to and continuing discussions. That’s why, for me, there has always been a distinction between computers and the humanities: I was at least relatively competent at the latter and an amateur regarding the other.
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Learning the Digital Humanities

In English 340 we have been collectively discussing the digital humanities. Some topics we have touched on have been the transformation or development of language, the technological influences over our communication and specifically how our communication has many different means of channels. Prior to coming into this course, my view of the relationship between computers and humanities was not nearly as strong, developed, and thoughtful as it is now being four weeks into this class. I often thought of the two as entirely separate happenings. Having taken a humanities course that related to nothing in the technological world but rather the development and analytics of cultural and societal aspects did not help connect the two, but only distinguish them from one another. Before reading some chapters of the book, The Information, I thought of the connection between computers and humanities from a vague and broad perspective. That being said, the only connection I had thought of involved how people have grown to be dependent on computers or technology in general. Computers are put at our fingertips, I mean literally in handheld devices that seem to barely leave our hands. That being said, the relationship that we have with them is a strong one as it seems as though they have been ingrained as routine in our everyday lives. Coming into this course, computers and the humanities were barely connected. The only ways I thought of, and not necessarily thought of in relation to one another, was the use of media and different ways of coming of information and sending messages (basically the technological influence on the world). Being in this course, I have learned so far that the digital humanities is so much more than that. It conveys a much bigger idea of the development of this digital and humanities connected world we live in. This class has been knowledgeable in portraying the development of the language we so very speak and further analyzing how this impacts our everyday lives.

Coming into this course, I have to admit I was nervous. I cannot say that I was truly confident in my technological abilities, and I still cannot say that at this moment. The truth is, I am learning something new every day that is a little out of my comfort zone with technology. I came into class knowing very basic computer skills. Yet these computer skills seem to get me through the modern day just fine. The skills I brought with me into this class include using different browsers, imports, exports and downloads or converting documents were ones that I quickly learned are definitely below average in computing skills. However, with these skills, I have always felt as I can hold my own when it comes to general aspects of technology (you know, I feel like a genius when explaining things to my Grandma). Yet, this class has brought me to realize how behind I am with the understanding of general computing. I have never even heard of the software, coding, and markdowns we use. Through the beginning weeks of this class, I have gotten more comfortable coming out of my comfort zone with the digital humanities. I have learned some very cool aspects that I did not know of before like coding, atom, html, and virtualbox. One area of weakness I can identify for myself is potentially trying too hard to keep up. I sometimes feel like I will miss something simple because I am focusing so hard on every individual step to make sure I do it right. For example, two weeks ago I copied something from google docs into a discussion post and noticed the format was funky. Later realizing avoiding that issue was simple. I now know other techniques like markdowns in atom, creating links to pictures, italicizing, and even create emojis simply by typing in a code. Some other things I learned about, through my peers, were different programs and apps that are useful in everyday digital life. One thing I really am enjoying is the book, The Information. Learning about how communication, messaging, and information has grown over time and the processes of different cultures and ways of communicating has been so intriguing.

My relationship with my computer coming into this course is definitely one considered a “love/hate” relationship. I often beat myself up because I know my MacBook is capable of such cool features that I have not taken the time to learn about. Spending so much money on this computer only to use the basic functions of it seems as if I am doing a disservice. The only functions I use my computer for are mostly schoolwork and leisure. I am your average user of Microsoft, google drive, PowerPoints, Netflix, and social media on my electronic device. Through this class, I am happy to be learning more functions and use of my computer because I have never used programs like we are. However, that speaks to the fact that my relationship with my computer coming into the course was not really a strong one as I never really understood complex concepts of coding and other computer science aspects that we continue to learn in this course.

To conclude this reflection, I want to quote Dr. Schacht when he stated, “A huge part of doing something is being willing to devote the time and developing some expertise on finding information on the web by either the product itself or the community of people who use it.” I feel as though this is such an empowering message as we continue through this course to keep in the back of our minds.  Everything we need to know, we can essentially figure out. So, folks, that is my push for everyone, if you seem to be having trouble with something! Reach out to people, do some research to help you find what you are looking for, and with this you will begin to better yourself as an information technologist!

My Computing Life

“Lit and Lit Study in the Digital Age” was my top english class that I wanted to take this semester. Coming into this class I knew it would be different, one that would cover topics I have never covered in any other english class. That is the biggest reason I was so intrigued to take this class. Although I am not very good with computers or technology, I wanted to improve my skills. I feel that I am average in being versatile in technology, but every now and then I need to ask other people for help with tasks. Read more

Understanding Technology

Before coming into this course, I never really thought about the connection between humanities and technology. When I thought of humanities, I thought of hard cover books and reading articles that discussed different cultures. I thought of people analyzing the way people lived by using hands on materials and artifacts to due so. When I was introduced to this class, I began to see humanities in a different way. Using digital humanities, instead of normal humanities, makes it easier for people to stay connected. One way people can do this is through social media. People can share ideas back and forth with each other within a matter of seconds. Conversations can occur between people, which would encourage people to share thoughts and gain other’s insights. There is also access to blog posts and online articles that give people more of an insight into what the humanities involves.However, I think that the relationship between computers and humanities can have negative qualities. For instance, using the internet gives anyone the opportunity to post whatever they want and the information that they post can be false or misleading. I think it’s important to make sure that when using the computer or internet to learn about humanities, that it comes from a reliable source. Now looking at the relationship between computers and humanities, I think that it provides people with easier access to information, making it easier to stay connected and learn about those around us.

Coming into this course, I did not really know anything about computing. I have seen people use different networks and apps that allowed for basic computing but I never really experienced using it for myself. In high school, I took a computer class in which we created our own websites. We got to design the layout of our websites and determine what material we wanted to feature. Creating our own website got us familiar with how to navigate the internet, as well as creating our own web addresses. Besides for the experience with creating my own website in my computer class, before this course I have not been introduced to any other form of computing. Throughout this course I am hoping to increase my knowledge on computing. As an education major, I think that it’s important to have a general understanding of computers and how to use them. With the advances in technology, it is likely that the students in my class someday will use computers, therefore I hope to have enough knowledge about computers so that I can support them.

When I first came into this class, my relationship with my computer was very minimal. I used very few apps on my computer, mostly just Chrome, Spotify, Safari, and Microsoft Word. I mostly used my computer for school work and when I wasn’t using it for school work I was using it to watch Netflix or online shop. I very rarely explored the different features of my computer and would only stick to using the basic features. Now being a few weeks into this course, I have begun to explore the different features my computer offers. I like being able to use different apps and networks, such as Slack and Virtual Box. I never knew that these networks existed, therefore it is exciting to explore something new. I hope that through this course I am able to expand my knowledge on computers and be able to use my computer in ways that I have not been able to before.