because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

Tech Support Answers, Part Dos

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This is the second installment of TechSupport’s answers to questions that people asked him when I implored folks to ask him some questions for his 13th birthday. If you’d like to read the first part of his interview, please click HERE. Most importantly, please be sure to click on the links of all these bloggers. Especially if you don’t recognize someone’s name. There are a lot of talented people here today!

Tech Support 2012

Hi everyone. I’m back. Let’s just jump into it this time.

The Good Greatsby asked:

How would you rate your bar mitzvah? My kids aren’t Jewish, but they do like parties and getting gifts. Is the party worth converting?

TS: 99.9/100. The only reason it isn’t 100% is because in my mind, nothing is perfect. Like we have to sit in temple for High Holidays and we have a bunch of fasting holidays, which are exhausting. But have you have ever had matzah ball soup? Or real potato latkes made by a Jewish grandma? If not, you’ve got to try these things. If they are made right, you’ll want to convert. Or at least, it would be worth a conversation.

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom asked:

Who’s your favorite video game character and why?

TS: My favorite video game character is Steve from Minecraft. I am currently in love with this game.

This is Steve.

Hibs asked:

What are you curious about????

TS: I am curious as to why you ended your question with four question marks. Seems like you only needed one.

 • • •

EllieAnn asked:

This is one of the hardest riddles I know. And for the record, I was not able to figure it out on my own.
Riddle: Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?

TS: Paul was born in 2000 B.C.E. {sarcasm on} I totally figured that one out by myself. I did not have to Google it or anything. {sarcasm off}

• • •

Heather Marsten asked:

What items would you place in a time capsule to represent your life and the times you live in?

TS: A computer, a Smartphone, and a (broken) CD. Also the book Goodnight, iPad! If you haven’t read Goodnight iPad!, it is a great book for anyone who loves Goodnight, Moon! And likes parodies.

Goodnight iPad
Goodnight iPad (Photo credit: Jagrap)

• • •

Leanne Shirtliffe of Ironic Mom asked:

Besides dancing, what’s something goofy that your mom does that drives you a bit insane? What’s your favourite book? If you could visit any country in the world for one week (for free), where would you go and why?

TS: It drives me crazy when my mom won’t get off of the computer because she says she is “working” when she is really just blogging. I mean, I need to play my video games! I don’t have a favorite book but one that I just read and really liked was the Gone Series. If I could visit any country I would go somewhere in Africa because I’ve never been to that continent before, and it seems like a cool place to go.

• • •

pegoleg asked:

How do you envision the next 13 years will differ from the first 13?

TS: I think that in the next 13 years not much will be different except that technology will continue to develop faster and people will use it differently. We may even get A.I. (Artificial Intelligence). Who knows?!

[Mom jumps in] Tech, I believe Pegoleg is asking on a more personal level. How do you think your life will be different in the next 13 years. You know like… where do you think you’ll be between now and the time you are 26?

TS: Ohhhh! I will continue leaning in school and hopefully learn more about math and science. Hopefully, I’ll go to college somewhere. Don’t know where. Not worried about it yet. But I imagine it’s in the plan. Maybe land a job in sciencey-computery stuff. I imagine I’ll have a few roommates and live like the guys on Big Bang Theory. I’ll be the coolest one. Whichever one you think that one is.

List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4)
List of The Big Bang Theory episodes (season 4) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• • •

lexiesnana asked:

If I want to impress my 13-year old nephew and also look really cool in the adult world what should I focus on in music and video games? Also what is your favorite Olympic sport and why.

TS: If you want to impress your nephew, you need to understand Minecraft and the importance of collecting diamonds and red stone while avoiding creepers. Some adults like Minecraft, too. But most adults will think you are a dork. To impress those adults, I’d recommend getting some kind of Apple product and learn how to do little fixes like when your iPad freezes. Adults are very appreciative when you can help them with any kind of technical support. They will think you are a wizard or something.

My favorite Olympic sport is fencing because I fence!

 • • •

skippingstones asked:

Is the alternate drive on your computer (D drive on my crashed computer) something that can be taken out and put into a different computer? Or does it have to be accessed and copied?

TS: I’m a Mac.

• • •

August McLaughlin asked:

 If you could dedicate a song to your mom and one to your dad, what would you choose and who would sing it? And what song best depicts your childhood?

TS: The song that best depicts my life is “Bangarang.”

[NOTE from RASJ: Listen at your own risk. And turn the volume on your speakers down.]

I wouldn’t dedicate a song to my parents.

I would just buy my mom a steak and my dad some golf clubs.

I know what they like. Trust me on this.

• • •

Galit Breen from These Little Waves asked:

How do you feel about your mama’s blog?

TS: I think it’s cool, but she spends wayyyyy (that’s 5 bold y’s) too much time on it.

Stay tuned for the last installment of Tech’s scintillating answers to your questions.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

Roots & Wings

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The Golisano College of Computing and Informat...
Image via Wikipedia

Way back in December, a brochure made its way into my house advertising a summer kids’ camp at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Monkey read it hungrily and announced that he really wanted to take a computer programming class.

I heard him but I left the information on the back burner.

On a very low simmer.

Because I didn’t want Monkey to spend two weeks inside with eleventy-zillion computer screens. Lord knows our summers in New York State are short enough as it is. So I didn’t really jump on it.

But Monkey was relentless.

(I don’t know where he gets it.)

After weeks of daily questioning, he wore me down and I signed him up so for the desired two-week session. For two weeks, five hours a day, my child sat in a college classroom learning how to use Adobe Flash to create a computer video game.

And he loved every minute of it.

In the car on the way home each afternoon, he talked (mostly to himself) about “code” and “servers” and “syntax errors” and “unnecessary right braces before end of program” and other things I did not understand.

On the first day of the second week Monkey said: “You don’t have to walk me in.”

I looked at my 11-year-old son. He assured me I could just drop him off at the curb, that he knew just where to go “on-campus.” He unbuckled his seatbelt and kissed me on my nose, an old ritual since his pre-school days.

I let him go.

I wasn’t worried about him, but I didn’t drive away so quickly. For some reason, the moment felt kind of monumental. I watched my son’s slim body move further and further away from me until he was so far up the path that I almost couldn’t differentiate him from another student. Eventually, Monkey (or maybe it was the other kid) opened one of the two heavy doors to the brick and glass Tom Golisano Building for Computing and Information Science and disappeared without even looking back.

I imagined my son graduating from high school and heading off to college in five years time. And never looking back.

Later that week Monkey asked me if he had to finish middle and high school or if he could just skip ahead to college.

(This from a child who still doesn’t know how to properly use a comma.)

I, of course popped into teacher mode. I explained to him that, while he might excel in computer technology, he still needs to learn about literature and history, to continue to work on his writing and language skills – because otherwise there would be holes in his educational fabric.

“Right now, school is helping to weave a tapestry in your brain,” I said. “But that tapestry is only partially created. If you stop going to school or skip the subjects that don’t appeal to you, it would be like enormous moths attacked the tapestry and chewed giant holes into it.”

Monkey was quiet so I kept going. “You need a know a lot of different types of knowledge before you go to college. And you are going to need to understand how those types of knowledge are interconnected…”

Monkey interrupted. “Mom, I’m kidding!” He patted my hand in mock reassurance. “Don’t be so serious.”

Oy.

I know it’s a parent’s job to give a child roots and wings. And Monkey has got ’em.

I just didn’t think he would want to fly off so fast.

If your child wanted to pursue year-round school academics, would you encourage him/her to do so? Or do you feel taking time off to relax during the summer is important?

"Out of The Closet" by Chrissy Teague

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This piece was written by a former student from Monroe Community College, Crissy Teague. She is one smart, beautiful, tough cookie.

image from google.com

Everything I own in the world fits behind two locked closet doors. Last year I divorced, got fired and denied for unemployment. My nine-year old  and I moved back home with my mother. I felt lost. What could I control? I could take care of what little I owned. I locked away clothes, movies, CD’s, shoes, video games and hygiene products. No one would borrow or damage what was “mine.” It belonged to me. My thirteen year-old sister would no longer take my clothes without asking, not even the dirty ones — (I locked the hamper up too). Everything changed, but I would be  in control of my little world.

Then, my son threw two mega fits while we accompanied my mother to the mall. He first cried when I refused his request for a certain video game. Telling him to “put it on his Christmas list,” or “we can’t afford it because Mommy’s not working,” or “you hardly play the the your other Wii games” did not make the tears subside. Mega fit number two came when I gave him a caramel rice cake topped with peanut butter to snack on. His lack of gratitude, and double dose of tears in two hours resulted in up a “starving kids in Africa” speech.

Fuming, I sat arms crossed. How could my child be so ungrateful? Why is he so selfish/self-centered? After a few moments I realized, this behavior is learned: Narcissism as taught by me. I remembered my belongings under lock and key. I’ve been doing this all wrong. Not just training my child, but living. My new conviction: God did not breathe life into me so I could horde pleasures for myself then die, an empty existence.

guest blogger, Crissy Teague

The little I own in the closets now seems like too much. It’s time to come out of the closets. I will give to my local community. I will go through my movies/video games and donate to local orphanages. My son has extra toys, books to give to a daycare, or hospital children’s wing, or library. A dozen fancy dresses and shoes can go to the Fairy Godmother project. Instead of spending nights indoors watching movies, my son and I will volunteer. It is better to give than to receive. I’m going to give my son a rich legacy—a legacy of giving to others.

What are you holding onto that might benefit someone else? Needs have never been greater. What better time to give than now? You may feel like you don’t have much. I understand. I’m a jobless single mother coming out of two closets. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to give. I challenge you to do what you can. Our relatives, our friends, our neighbors need us. The quality of community is in our hands. Who knows the outcome? The life you change may be your own.