Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thank You!

Dear Ian (Last Name?! Eek!),

Thank you so much for visiting our class last week. Forgive the fact that we aren't the rowdiest bunch; we are, after all, in a writing and technology class!

I enjoyed your talk last week due to the fact that it was both informative and informal. It's rare that a guest speaker visits one of my classes and sits (at the class' level) and talks with us about common interests as if we were having a conversation. Your approach to a sometimes confusing and alienating topic made it all the more inviting. 

The topic of writing and technology is an odd one in my mind. I must admit that I resent technology at times. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all that it has done and continues to do to expand the possibilities for every facet of life, but sometimes I wish I could cut out all the background noise--even the click of my own fingers typing--and just write. A pencil, a sheet of paper, and pure inspiration, I assume, would be all I need to create the perfect line, the most compelling story.

I keep coming back to a theme of both your talk and the material we have studied this semester, that technology is constantly evolving, being molded to fit the needs and desires of an ever-changing world. I am thankful, for example, that medical-technology advancements are being made to meet the rise in breast cancer in recent years (now one in seven women said to be affected), but I'm not so cheerful about all the new gadgets that are labeled necessities. My boyfriend, who used to be notorious for leaving his cell phone at home, recently purchased a BlackBerry and was instantly attached to its buttons. He doesn't leave home without it--in fact, he doesn't do much of anything without it. Now, in the evenings, a time which he used to spend reading or writing, he spends clicking and scrolling away on his BlackBerry. My point? I'm not sure I have one except to ask that these technologies help us, give us directions when we're lost, but how do they limit us? This was also brought up when we talked about security devices and monitoring devices, such as a the crime-trackers, as technology to be considered. When do we reach the point where we pause and ask if this technology is helping or hurting us. There may not be an answer, perhaps not yet, but I wanted you to know that your talk has propelled me to continue thinking about these things. 

I may not always be up-to-date with the newest software and technologies, but I do keep my eye on them. I will never stop asking questions, whether in my head or aloud, because I think they are important. In my opinion, there are aspects of our lives to be experienced without all the strings (or PDAs) attached, but at the same time, there are elements of technology that improve the quality of our lives in many ways. I feel a little bit like I am on one of those radio call-in shows--they would label me Weary of Technology in Wilmington-- but I simply want to challenge the notion that we always need to be "well connected" to get by. I hope there is at least a small sliver of hope for those of us who still like the feel of real paper between our fingers.

Thanks again for visiting! Good luck with all that the future holds!


Lia Kerner

1 comment:

Ian Oeschger said...

Thank you guys! I didn't realize you'd written these nice posts but just had lunch with Dr. Ashe, who told me. With so much to talk about around writing and technology, the challenge is finding what aspects to focus on. And I'm one who can energetically sort of *lose focus* on the issue at hand. :-)

Glad you enjoyed the discussion -- I certainly did.