The other night, we watched a DVD about an internship at Google.  It depicted the divide of the technologically savvy younger generation totally wired and the older generation who communicate more easily in person.  It was funny and afterwards I began remembering my first memories of computers.  My first vivid memory was while I was living in Manhattan in a rent controlled women’s residence and sitting on a chair on the roof, part of an outdoor garden, listening to some of the resident’s discuss future opportunities for women with sales and technology.  Selling computers.  At the time, I was working in the garment district with the buyer’s attending markets, crunching numbers for a very low salary.  It was interesting but didn’t pay well.  I remember wondering “do you need a course to sell computers?”  “How can you learn more?” I found the job by knocking on doors in the Garment District and filling in applications, not by using the internet or googling “jobs with buyers, New York City.”

     My second memory is of leaving New York City and living with my parents while taking my first computer class at a community college.  The old school method of searching for job was through the newspaper:  the New York Times, local papers, and contacts.  I networked and some of my better jobs were found through meeting with the locals and being recommended for jobs.  I remember we had a computer at home but my father was convinced that I would break it by pressing the wrong keys.  It used to freeze and we would restart it. I can remember holding my breath until it started.  I found my first job teaching English as a foreign language in South Korea through an advertisement (New York Times) for a private school in Incheon, Korea.  We communicated by fax, interviewed by phone, and I was offered a contract.  I stayed 3 years in Korea.  There was no “googling teach in South Korea” or information about the school.  It was learn as you earn. 

   My third memory of working with computers is my second year in Tampa and accepting a job at a call center working with General Motors customers.  While I was teaching in Korea, there were computer rooms but I rarely went.  So, I returned behind the curve concerning computers.  The platforms were difficult for me, I watched younger people’s hands fly over the keys and suddenly my 50 wpm typing didn’t seem applicable.  I didn’t last through the training. About three months later, I was interviewed for a job at Xerox, in a similar call center environment, but when the phone interview ended, the recruiter stated to me, “I think your interest lies more in teaching. “ 

     What really clicked for me with computers and probably led me to discovering that I enjoyed the ability to research and the information you are able to access on the computer were my graduate classes at USF, my husband teaching me more about the computer, taking online courses for certification, and joining facebook.  After I interviewed for the Abu Dhabi Education Council, I was advised by the recruiter to join facebook and connect with some of the teachers already there.  It was a helpful tool for finding information and helping me locate some potential friends when I arrived.  Watching the movie made me laugh.  The generations are so different and I can identify.  There is definitely a need in today’s world for computers and technology but there will always be a niche for people who communicate well and have sales ability, or the ability to connect easily with people.  There is some information you cannot access by computer.  It must be in person, face-to-face and I am happy to say that enjoying a cupcake is done in person also.  Happy Thanksgiving.  May you find plenty to be  Thankful for this holiday.  

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