Archive for September, 2008

Digital Lit

September 30, 2008

I was about eight or nine when I first learned how to use the microwave.  I was almost out of grade school and it was about that age when kids start to learn how to make their own food.  My dad said I needed to learn, but the concept of not having my food made for me anymore was scary.  I argued about it and argued about it but there was no choice.  I was going to learn how to use a microwave, and boy am I glad I did.

Now granted a microwave isn’t the most technological advanced piece of equipment, but as I said before, it was the thought of making my own food that terrified me.  My dad and I would sit on the counter by our microwave as he showed me the buttons I would have to know.  After that, he would point out all the food around the house that I was now going to be able to make all by myself.  After four more two hour lectures, a quiz, and a final exam, I was finally able to try it on my own. 

At first I still didn’t do a whole lot with my blooming microwave skills.  My mom was still around and she had no problem making me food if she wasn’t busy.  I also didn’t really know that many things that I could put in the microwave since I probably wasn’t ten yet.  Over the next few years though, I became the Duke of the Microwave. 

I was putting anything and everything into the beautiful device, otherwise known as the microwave.  It felt so good knowing that I was making food on my own and not depending on my parents or someone else to do it for me.  And it felt even better when I was stuffed after raiding my kitchen and cleaning out my fridge. 

To this day the microwave is still the leading candidate whenever I make something for myself.  I use it about 3-4 times a day for just about everything.  It’s just so quick and easy, and almost anything can be warmed to perfection in a microwave, that is of course, if I’m in charge.  I’m very thankful that my dad took the the time to teach me a very valuable life lesson.  Because if he hadn’t, the world would be without one of the greatest microwavers it has ever seen.











I couldn’t survive at MSU without my…

September 30, 2008



I’ve had my ipod for about 2 years now and I’ve never appreciated more than I do now.  It’s always been pretty special to me since it was one of the first big purchases I made for myself.  It’s a basic, white, 30GB but I love it.

The first reason I couldn’t live here without it would be the walks to class.  When I have my headphones in I feel like I’m on a mission to go to class.  It makes the trip seem so much shorter and it almost seems like I’m in a zone. I know this is sounding like my ipod pumps me up for a football game or something but it’s not like that.  It’s just that when I’m listening to my favorite music heading to class, I get there in such a better mood and then the class is much more manageble.  You don’t really notice these things until you forget to charge your ipod.  You can imagine the frustration and mood swing when it dies on the way to class.

Another reason I need my ipod is it helps me wind down after a long day of classes or a grueling 2 hour lecture.  These are perfect times for the more mellow and relaxed playlists.  A little bit of Bob Marley or The Beatles are perfect examples of artists on these kind of playlists.

The last and most important reason I couldn’t survive without my ipod is the way that it puts you into your own sort of world.  It lets you block out everything else and either sit and soak in the music or focus in on what you’re doing.  It’s what is keeping me awake and typing right now.  It’s what puts me to sleep some nights.  It’s what I can’t go 2 hours without.  It’s a  trustworthy companion.  It’s one of my best friends.

Digital spaces: color and gender

September 30, 2008

          The instance that I’ve decided to use may surprise some people.  See, I grew up in St. Joseph, MI which is a sister city to Benton Harbor.  Now, Benton Harbor was in the national news a few years back for riots in their city, but I’m not going to get into that.  The point is that I grew up in a very urban community living next to the BH.  Benton Harbor has always been one of the worst cities in Michigan in terms of crime rate, unemployment rate, infrastructure, etc.  And that is just the fairly new part of town.  If you go deep into the BH there its’ projects and ghetto as far as the eye can see. 

          This incident took place outside the local movie theatre in Benton Harbor.  This was the populated part of BH with the mall, businesses, and other stores like fast food. Don’t worry, I’m not going to see any movie in the ghetto.  So a couple of my buddies and I are leaving the theatre and a crowd of black guys come walking straight at us, and when I say a crowd, I mean about 15.  As they kept getting closer it looked more and more like they were coming at us.  The only problem was that the cars were in the direction that they were coming from.  We only waited about 10 more seconds until every single one of us booked it down the road.  We didn’t even know where we were really going but it was away from them and we didn’t stop until the theatre was out of sight.  So we made it out of there without getting jumped, we eventually got back to our cars and everything was fine.  Now, you may ask why I chose this event.  It’s easily a memory that I’ll never forget and it’s hard to feel more out of place than when a mob of thugs is heading straight at you. 

          Don’t get me wrong, I love where I grew up and I’m thankful that I had so much urban influence in my life but the prompt asked about a time you felt out of place.  I know that there is still discrimination in the digital world and by all means, I hope that comes to an end very soon.  My point here is that there’s not much, if any, physical danger in the digital world.  I know that I can’t talk about being discriminated against since I’m a white male but it’s nice not to have to worry about actual harm when I’m in the digital world.  In the end, I’m glad I have a place where I’m safe to explore almost anything I want, but I’d still take the real world over the digital version any day of the week.