I’ll never forget my first iBook. In fact, it was the first computer I’d ever owned. I was preparing to graduate from DePaul University and my dad called asking what I would like for a graduation gift:
Me: A one-way ticket back to Munich.
Dad: I was thinking more along the line of a laptop.
Me: You wait until I finish college? … OK, shutting up now. A laptop sounds great. Thank you, Daddy. [Yes – I suck up when needed.]
Little did I know how my life was about to change. About a week later my dad called, complaining about the awful time he’d been having with Dell trying to get my computer ordered,and asked how I felt about getting an Apple. My knees went weak. It just so happened that I had recently had to borrow a friend’s iBook in order to finish some final term work and had fallen in love. It was so user-friendly and it was pretty! He had a hard time prying it out of my fingers when I was finished.
So Graduation Week arrived and my parents made the trip to Lincoln Park for the traditional Baccalaureate Mass at St. Vincent DePaul Church which kicks off all of the festivities. I was so wrapped up in the fact that I was finally, well almost, finished with school that I didn’t notice the bag my dad was carrying with him until after the ceremony.
When the ceremony was over and I was regrouping with all of my parents and brothers, my dad handed it over to me and just said, “Congratulations honey, we’re so proud of you.” I looked inside and squealed. And there on the steps of St. Vincent DePaul Church, I opened up my very first iBook G4. And I started working away.
Six years have passed since my fingers first hit those keys and I still have the computer. The trackpad no longer works, most of the letters on the keys have been worn away, and I’ve moved on to a shiny new MacBook Pro (and an iPhone 4) but every time my fingers pass it on the bookshelf, I’m still taken back to that day.
That laptop has been with me through my last few months in Chicago, five years in New York and is now at home in Boston. Through my personal writing, research papers, resume drafts and countless photo albums.
A part of me holds on to the hope that someday, just maybe, I’ll be a real writer because of those first key strokes. And for helping me keep that dream alive, I thank you.