Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Modern Technology

I'm so far behind on my sewing projects, reading other's blogs, and in updating my blog as I feel as though I'll never catch-up. Three of my grand kids have been visiting with us for the last month and I haven't had a lot of free time. I've had a moment here, a moment there to sneak in a few minutes on the computer and I find that is not enough time to read my emails, some of my favorite blogs, or to throw out a few words for my own blog.

I love browsing the internet, reading blogs, and corresponding with friends over the internet. Isn't technology wonderful? I find it amazing how we can touch each other's lives without ever meeting face to face. Whether we are drawn together by a common hobby or life experience, we all have the ability to become a strong influence in someone else's life. How awesome is that? I've seen amazing advancement in technology through the years.

Years ago, while in college I can remember typing term papers on a manual typewriter. At the time, correction fluid had not been invented yet and if you made an error you had to use an eraser pencil. Sounds good, right? NOT! These erasers would wear a hole right through the paper while smearing the typewriter ink if you were not careful. And don’t even make an error while you were typing a term paper because you would have to start all over again. So come back in time with me for a moment…

I’m working on a term paper for my Anthropology class. The subject is the effect the changes in our environment has on the rain forest, minimum 25 pages, typed, and single spaced. I have one week to complete my research, compile my notes, hand-write a rough draft, edit, and type final draft for submission to my professor.

Item 1 – Go to the library and select a couple of books for gathering reference material for paper. Remember, the internet didn’t exist so I couldn’t search for data on Google.

Item 2 – Read books and compile handwritten notes. Again, no PC so I couldn’t just type points of interest into an outline. Everything had to be handwritten.

Item 3 – Prepare handwritten outline and edit. See comment above.

Item 4 – Prepare handwritten term paper and edit for final draft. See comment for Item 2.

Item 5 – Once the final draft is perfect, type out title page, outline, index, term paper, and bibliography according to professor’s specifications… very carefully. If an error occurs, attempt to correct using an eraser pencil. If eraser creates a hole in the paper or smears the ink, pull-out paper and start over, being careful to not make another error.

Item 6 – Proofread term paper for grammar, content, and format. If an error occurred, attempt to correct. If correction made error more noticeable, retype paper. Hopefully, the error is small enough and only the page the error occurred on needs to be retyped. Otherwise, retype term paper.

Item 7 – Turn in term paper and pray you caught everything. Remember, no computer, no spell or grammar check, no print preview, no special effect features. Everything is manual Even making Xerox copies was different from today.

In real life, I was up until sometime after 1:00 am the day the term paper was due editing and typing. Although today’s technology would have made it easier to complete my task, the fact that I was carrying a 20 credit load with labs, working 40 hours a week, and raising 2 small children plus a husband at the time was probably a bigger hindrance to my progress. But just imagine the time I would have saved had I had access to a PC and the internet.

So, when I complain about not having enough time to write a few lines on my blog, or some other task, I just remind myself how grueling a task it would have been when I was younger and we didn’t have computers, we had terminals; we didn’t have computerized sewing machines with automatic buttonholes, we had all metal sewing machines with a buttonhole attachment that shook the entire house when in operation; we didn’t have the internet, we had a neighborhood library system we could check books out of; and finally, we didn’t have the electronic social groups for meeting people in other states or countries while building lasting friendships with, we had the local PTA, YMCA, church or other local community center were we met people who resided in the same town and we could build lasting friendships with.

Isn’t modern technology mind boggling?

1 comment:

Roslyn said...

I remember using correction tape in the typewriter & also that awful white out stuff.
Sure is easier these days, Dena!