Pioneers

Happy Ada Lovelace Day

Ada LovelaceImage via WikipediaI have been fortunate enough to have had many wonderful women in my life who each left an impression on me in some way. But today, in honor of Ada Lovelace Day, I’m sharing a few of the women who inspired me.  Ada Lovelace was the worlds first computer programmer and on this day many people take the time to remember women of science. I want to honor the great women in my life.

Number 1 would be my mother. I was lucky enough to come from intelligent stock. I learned a lot from her including my love of books, of learning, of history, of technology, and on and on, but what I think I learned most from her was perseverance. My mother had a very tough life, but she was like a phoenix, rising from the ashes again and again. Finding something to laugh about, gave her the strength to continue the fight.

Number 2: Mrs. Crabb was my fifth and sixth grade teacher. She believed in me, which, allowed me to realize that I was OK with who I was and if there was something I wanted to do, I shouldn’t worry what anybody else thought but just do it. I had been publishing an underground newspaper called “The Toilet Stall Times,” and knew it wouldn’t be long before I got into trouble for it. Boys were breaking into the girls bathroom to get a copy. Mrs. Crabb came up with the idea of publishing a book and that was how I started my life long publishing dream.

Number 3: Jan Rawson, my journalism professor, was a stickler for everything. A stickler for facts; a stickler for grammar; a stickily for ethics…everything. Getting a paper back from her meant red ink and rearranged paragraphs with more pages of suggestions than pages in the original article. No paper was ever done. If it weren’t for deadlines, I don’t think anything would have ever gotten published. Exhausted from working all-nighters to get the newspaper out, I could barely keep my eyes open but she would still be at it up to the last minute because the idea of an error getting published was unacceptable to her. Jan gave me a drive for perfectionism, but also the value of a deadline. She also introduced me to my first “computer.” Little did I know then, that that paper-tape spewing monstrosity was the beginning of a beautiful love affair with technology that still exists today. Rather than fear the machine because it was foreign, she taught me that it was just another tool and if you used it right, you could inspire the world.

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Stop the Stream to Honor Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is dead.

The news makes my life pass before me. I stare at the screen where Facebook users continue their posts about Farmville rewards and I want to yell Stop! Stop all the game posts; Stop all the Tweets! Stop everything for one second and recognize the man for the way he changed the world. Can’t you pause for a second to pay tribute to the man whose contributions lead to the creation of all these live streams of posts.
He’s been a part of my life for 26 years and yet, I only met him once. As I think about his life, I can only smile and say Thank you. Thank you for sharing your dreams and making them ours.

Please observe a moment of silence at least to honor this great man. There was no one else like him and we’re all better because of him.

Funeral Blues
W. H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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