editing of papers with features such as copy and paste, backspace, and delete. Even it,with all its limitations, provided a means for taking charge of my writing process.
Transitioning to a New Technology
Eventually my family purchased an Emachine computer when I was 14 along with a
year’s subscription to the local Prodigy dial
-up Internet service. Finally, I was able totype my papers with a more advanced editing function, thanks to Microsoft Word. It wasat this time that I also truly discovered the Internet. Prior to the Emachine purchase, myonly relationship with the Web was the occasional book search in the school library or apersonal
email sent from a friend’s computer.
When I was home alone during the summerafter eighth grade, I began to log on to the built-in chat room site for Prodigy. There, Ichatted with people from around the world. We shared pictures, news stories, and linksto interesting, funny, and educational Web sites. As cheesy as it sounds, the Internetexpanded my naïve 14-year-old world. I was no longer a little country girl sitting in arandom house in the middle of nowhere, but someone who was connected to everythingimaginable. My writing began to improve because I possessed unlimited access to newsarticles, e-books, and blog entries. These Internet resources served as examples ofgreat writing and as suggestions for how to improve my own. I joined a blog site,LiveJournal, and began to share my writing with others. I learned through the writings ofothers about other areas of the world, how to use blogging technology, how to postpictures, videos, and comments to blogs. I learned how to make my own icons for my journal profile, how to use basic HTML for editing the layout, and most importantly, howto write using a new technological medium.
Immersing Myself in the Newfound Technology
Throughout high school and college, I grew so familiar with computers and theWeb that I became the go-to guru for all my friends and family members whenever acomputer problem arose. My stepdad, at the time a part-time business instructor, paidme to type and edit his student tests and quizzes. My mother called on me toincorporate her material for work presentations in flashy yet professional PowerPoint