When I was in high school or just beginning Jr. College, my dad gave to two pieces of advice:
1. Go into the armed services.
2. Learn computers.
Ideally, in his mind, he wanted me to go into the Armed Services and learn computers there and then continue it when I got out.
"No," and "I don't wannnnnnaaaa learn about computers!"
Now, I still don't think going into the armed services is the best thing ever, especially with how times are now, and I could never imagine telling Mateo to go into the armed services because I would be afraid he'd end up dead and I certainly don't want that to happen. I don't think that's what my dad was thinking either; times were a bit different then even though conflicts were happening in the Middle East. I think he just wanted me to get the experience and then have the government pay for my education and then get a great job, find me a man, have me some wee ones, and don’t forget the white picket fence.
Learning computers was of no interest to me. When I graduated from high school, it was 1992. That feels like ages ago. Technology was way different back in the day (I was excited to get a stinking word processor for school - that's how different it was), there were no MP3 players, DVDs, fantastic computer applications allowing you to do so much with so little effort. It was all about DOS and word processing. Woopity do, I thought. Why would I want to learn that.
Side note: It took me forever to conceptually understand what a DVD and MP3 player was, and that was in 1998 or so. Sad, yes. But if you grew up with vinyl records, then tapes, then CDs, this new fangled stuff is hard to comprehend!
I was of the artistic nature, so I assumed I would go to school, become some fantastic writer or artist, become discovered and make a lot of money. Or just get a job in publishing or something related to that because I really didn't see the first wish happening. In essence, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to Jr. College because of that reason, choose English as my major because I felt I had a knack for writing and I was always an avid reader - so why not? I could always change.
When I transferred to San Jose State University, I realized it was way too late to do anything else (I went on the 4 year track in Jr. college - I have my reasons, so back off!), so I stuck with English, realized I was pretty keen on Creative Writing and slightly afraid to graduate, so I tacked that on as a Minor degree to extend my two years at SJSU to three years, and went along my merry way.
Where am I now? Somewhere, but not where I thought I'd be, not that what I'm doing is bad. It’s not bad at all, in fact, what I do and who I work for affords me tons of luxuries and freedom and flexibility. Perfect for someone who had too many things she wants to do (next on my list: learn about Superstring Theory!).
And now that I have a child, whose talents I will not come to know until many years from now, I've decided he should learn all about computers.
Yes, that’s correct – I’m saying EXACTLY what my dad said to me 16 years ago or so.
Now that I've seen some things and realize how important computers and computer engineering, programming and just knowing how to use one in general has come to be, I think Mateo should start learning anything and everything computers as soon as he can talk clearer, eat with a fork better and say his own name.
Call me my dad. We’re very similar as it is, might as well tack on the parental advice too.