Digital retrospect

Without Wednesday Hodgepodge, I guess I’ll have to actually *gasp* write something.

Admittedly, I was thinking about something from my past while I ran yesterday and I guess I could write about it.

In our 1101 classes, one of the teaching strands includes a digital literacy paper. Students write about their histories with different technologies and how they became proficient. As I was trudging up the Blairstone hill, I started to think about how I might write that essay. I’d probably do a chronological series of scenes, detailing my earliest uses of certain technologies.

Maybe the first time my dad set me down in front of the record player and put on something from the 70s. Maybe talk about how large the headphones were he plopped on my head and how keen I was to the sounds; the scratchiness of the record and those imperfections in the vinyl that could be heard over the music. I’d discuss the first time Dad let me put a record on by myself, trusting me not to break or scratch. The very first record I owned – that I actually owned – was the Beatles White Album. My own copy!

I might transition to the day I broke my Sony Walkman – the yellow one that was waterproof. I sat on the sidewalk in front of my house on my skateboard, listening to Guns and Roses. Welcome to the Jungle  came on and I just couldn’t get it loud enough. That part where Axl really belts it out, I had to have it louder, burning my ears, music being injected straight into my brain. It felt as if the louder I got it, the closer I was to him, his voice, the essence of Axl Rose, whom I worshiped. All it did, though, was hurt my ears and break the volume knob clean off.

I lost my train of thought after I stopped at a water fountain, the afternoon sun now behind a cloud and making it easier to run. I don’t know how I thought about the next part or how it played into the technology aspect; perhaps it was a reversal; I somehow got to thinking about writing in journals and…

how I used to go to a little coffee shop named Epitome downstairs from a bar in college. My roommate, Chris, and I would go and chat or write separately. I also didn’t mind ogling one of the baristas nicknamed Tigger. Tigger was tall – maybe six foot – and had a huge mohawk, wore big black combat boots, and a kilt. He was so fine. So pretty. And I sat there and ordered way more coffee than I needed just so he could bring it to me. The place had a homey atmosphere, one of a living room. Couches and coffee tables scattered about the room and fun paintings on the walls. (Why are there not more coffee bars like this??) 

I feel like actual pen to paper writing deviated from the technology I was using at the time. The year was 2003 or so and we’d been using email and scanners and blogging and all that for a while. I could just as easily written online about my experiences but I preferred the books to log my day to day thoughts.

Coincidentally, I saw Tigger in a grocery store about two or three years ago. Funny thing is, he actually recognized me. I was so busy thinking about this incident that I managed to hightail it up the hill to the corner of Mahan in no time and I didn’t even think about the burn in my calves. If only every run could be dominated by nostalgia, I’d be so much better off!




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