I don’t know how many parts there will be to this story, but to try and convey the full impact of what I’m feeling right now, I must make like Julie Andrews and “start at the very beginning…”
In the past two years, I’ve been keenly aware of how lucky I was to have the parents I do. Not only because they loved me and encouraged me and were (are) my biggest cheerleaders, but because they were early adopters of technology.
My mom chose to stay home to raise us, to bring us lunches left on counters, to pick us up from school when we had fevers. Consequently, money was tight. But my mom could type. So she often picked up typing jobs she could do at home. In the early 80s, to make things easier on her freelance work, my parents bought a Franklin computer.
I spent hours playing Lemonade Stand and Oregon Trail (back when it was all amber lines of text), and in the High Ability Learner program at school, I learned how to write primitive game code and DOS commands.
I can’t remember a time when our family didn’t have a computer, and I realize what a luxury that is even today. But what I didn’t realize in my youth was how access to that technology would shape the rest of my life.
Fast forward a decade and a half or so, and I was dating a guy in the late 90s who worked in IT. At the same time, my work study assignment for tuition assistance was managing a computer lab on campus. Mr. IT Guy talked me through many a Windows lab meltdown, and I still marvel sometimes at how I can troubleshoot, thanks to just being around him, watching and helping him tinker with computers in his home.
All of this is to say that through the years, I’ve become relatively tech-savvy. I don’t know everything, not by a long shot. But I’m certain I wouldn’t have this know-how had it not been for my parents and Mr. IT Guy.
Fast forward another decade or so, to two years ago, when I embarked on a technological journey that I never in a million years would have expected to start.