I think Ashton Kutcher put it best when he tweeted 'I never thought I could be so busted up about the loss of someone I never met.'. That's pretty much exactly how I feel. I remember taking a computer class in high school. There were about 10 computers in the room, all pushed up against the walls surrounding the regular desk set up of an 80's classroom. I remember lots of blah, blah blah about Pascal, if blank then that, and writing about 200 lines of gibberish to make a green block move about a centimeter across the screen. I was not thrilled with the whole thing.

Yes, I went through college without a computer. I used a word-processor typewriter to write all of my papers and I actually micro-fiched for research! I spent hours upon hours in the library to do what today would take about 10 minutes. This was not by choice, of course. This was because the high-tech rage at the time was the "beeper". Car phones were just beginning to come on the scene and they were "car" phones. They were installed in the car and had a squirrely cord like a home phone and everything.

Then I started teaching and met my hubby to-be. He was all about MacIntosh. He showed me that computers were fun, not scary or boring. I could save something on a big ol' floppy disk and then change it later? What? Revolutionary! One of the very first purchases I made as a new teacher was my MacIntosh Performa. Oh, I loved her!
That was right around the time that America Online was born. I remember sitting in my bedroom using my own computer and chatting with people ONLINE thinking that *this* was the stuff of Sci-Fi movies and how cool was it that I lived to see it!!  I was actually one of the first AOL users, early enough to have my own screen name without a funky spelling or 17 numbers after it. We dialed into AOL through a chorus of "boing, boing, screeeach, scratch, bing" noises and tied up the phone while we were online and paid by the MINUTE to be on - but was the coolest thing EVER!

Little did I know that my first computer would lead to a life-long love affair. Well, two actually. I fell in love with my hubby and fell in love with Apple. I am a self professed Mac Girl and my hubs will proudly tell you he's an Mac Man. The quality, brilliance, functionality and cool-factor of Apple products just lures me in every time.

My hubs would get so excited to watch every Apple keynote speech or product launch. And because I was sitting on the couch next to him, I'd usually get sucked in too. Then something strange happened and I started to get excited for them myself. There was just something about seeing Steve Jobs (and the other Apple peeps) share their products with us. You could see his pride. His passion. You could see that his heart and soul was in the design of every project and at the center of that company. It was incredible to see someone who was living their dream. I've read a lot about Steve Jobs. He made no bones about being a tough man to work for and making mistakes in his life. To me that's just part of being human, of being a man on a mission. In the end, it was worth it.

I'm not sure why I feel so compelled to write about Steve Jobs here. I think because I can not imagine my life without his imprint upon it. I have a sadness that is kind of strange to have for someone I've never met. I just can't help thinking that the world got gypped. Genius, vision, ingenuity and persistence doesn't show itself very often as it did with Steve Jobs. But how lucky for us that we were able to witness that and benefit from it, even if it was for far too short a time.

Rest in Peace, Steve.



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  2. I agree with Kim; nicely put! We bought that same little performa when Kaitlyn was 3 and Jacob was 2. They would FIGHT for their turn at the "puter." What a long way we've come, thanks to visionaries like Mr. Jobs. Thanks, Denise, for putting our sorrow and respect into such an eloquent tribute.

    The Corner On Character

  3. Denise:
    I referenced your post on my blog today. I hope lots of people will come and read your wonderful tribute...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  4. Oh my. This was beautifully written, which is why I'm a sniffling mess at the moment. And the graphic--yet alone the title-- had me in pieces before I even started reading.

    I had that same Mac Performa. AND I had the Mac SE before that. I would actually carry it to and from work. And, like you, that AOL sound pops up in my head from time to time.

    I found about Steve Jobs' passing in the middle of a computer training. Maybe that’s why it felt so heartbreaking.

    The "youngsters" that we teach, those who benefit from Jobs' vision throughout each day, don't feel this loss the same way. Maybe you had to have known the whole story. Maybe you had to have lived through the Macintosh history. Maybe you just have to love Macs!

    You told the story well.

    I've put you on my blog page so I can check in now and again. Even though I teach sixth grade, I love great writing, so I'll be back!

    Steve Jobs would be so proud!

    Thanks for sharing your reflection.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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