My mother taught me what mixed emotions meant when we moved during fourth grade. How heartbreaking it was to transfer schools in the middle of the year! I was really excited about my new school and the new house (with my own room!), but I was so sad to leave my friends and my wonderful school. It was hard then and I have the same feelings today.
Steve Jobs died yesterday (http://www.apple.com/) and I am truly happy that he’s no longer in pain and suffering from cancer. I am also so very sad that he’s no longer here creating more of the wonderful technology he provided for the world. Such a terrible loss, but that is true of many creative geniuses.
I do happen to be a MAC person and I love Apple products. I loved them from the beginning as our family bought the first Apple computer. Well, it was actually the third as it was an Apple IIc, which followed the Apple IIe and the Apple III. It was, however, Apple’s first endeavor to produce a portable computer.
The ‘c’ in Apple IIc stood for compact as it was pretty much the Apple II housed in a small, notebook-sized case with a keyboard and a handle that flipped open and closed. I think it was probably the precursor to their “clamshell” laptop of the 90s. I don’t have anything to prove that, but it’s what I’ve always suspected. You also had to have an external disk drive and a monitor. We opted for a second external disk drive so we could play games and save our explorations. Thus began my own educational and constructivist voyage into computer technology and I loved every league of the journey.
Quoting Jobs’ speech at 2005 Stanford commencement (video and text) “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” and answering truthfully I can say, “Yes, because I love what I do.” While a spontaneous trip to Europe or a cruise would be nice, working in technology and coaching & mentoring teachers is something I never expected to be doing. I was happy in my classroom and saw myself there until I retired. Unexpectedly, fate and a good bit of luck changed that plan, and I am blessed that it did.
Steve Jobs brought so much joy into peoples lives giving them handy, useful, and (relatively) inexpensive tools for listening to music, combing the Internet, and connecting with friends, family, and others. While they are fabulous tools, they are also toys that allow us to play and learn creating lifelong learners. Did he recognize the constructivist part of his gifts to us? I like to think so. Appreciating that, I will just say, “Thank you, Steve Jobs. May you rest in peace.”