Friday, October 30, 2015

Internet Wonders and Woes

For this brief series of posts, we Teaching Authors are celebrating Internet Day. April started last Friday with a little history, a Paul Simon song, and a thought-provoking poem. On Monday, Mary Ann discussed movies, marriage, and misinformation. Heres my take: Like all technology, the Internet is wonderful when it works. Unfortunately, it can’t do everything.

Take my brand-new Dell Inspiron laptop—please. I bought it during a back-to-school sale and used it just long enough to invest in and install some new software, create a couple of conference presentations, and transfer a few files. Last weekend, the entire left half of the keyboard went dead.

At Dells Technical Support center in New Delhi, technicians work at night so we can reach them during our daytime hours. My email got no response and the chat option was unavailable, so I finally called. Two hours later, after the technician took control of my computer from halfway around the world, I had a diagnosis (faulty motherboard), a promise that a shipping label would be on its way as soon as I hung up (It was.), and multiple reassurances that my computer would work just fine in five to ten days if I sent it to a service center. (I did.) I hope the old one, which now shuts itself off spontaneously, lasts that long.

I went for a walk. Stomping through the park, I started thinking in haiku. Short, curt lines expressed my frustration but didn’t give me enough room. Back at home, I decided to explore the tanka form. I started (of course) with a Google search.

Tanka have syllable counts similar to haiku: five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables. Many poems have a turn or pivot in the third line. Other than that, as this helpful article by Michael McClintock points out, “in form, techniques, and subject matter, the modern English-language tanka shows wide variation and invention, and appears disinclined to observe any rigid set of ‘rules’ or conventions.”

                    Fancy new laptop
                    diagnosed from India
                    but not fixed. Oh, well.
                    I’ll write with paper and pen
                    and flaming leaves streaming by.

I’ll play with the form some more while I wait for my laptop’s return. Wish me luck!

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Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Check It Out. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


Laura Shovan said...

Thanks to your sickly laptop, you've been given a gift of a poem. "Oh, well," speaks volumes and I love the last two lines.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I'm glad you were able to get those flaming leaves on paper, JoAnn! Fingers crossed for a happy ending for your computer saga.

cb hanek said...

Poets find poems in every circumstance, it's true! Case in point: techno challenge transformed into tanga by you!

...And I get the bonus, too! Another form to learn about and to try; thanks for your kindness in sharing a link. Happy Internet day to all and to all a good fight: beating every techno travail or trauma that comes into site (or sight:) God bless you! Thanks for the holiday fun.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thanks, everyone! In spite of its shortfalls, I still see the Internet as a huge benefit. After all, it links us all together, right? We certainly need it for Poetry Friday!

Linda Baie said...

Love hearing that you wrote with paper & pen, leaves streaming by, and certainly hope that computer comes back perfect!

Buffy Silverman said...

Your paper and pen served you well!

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Here's my hug, JoAnn, for your TechnoWoes!
I've been there SO MANY TIMES - talking to technicians on the other side of the world.
Just last week MY portable keyboard froze at 11:30 pm whilst I was preparing for the next day's client!
{Note: the portable keyboard replaced my laptop's keyboard that had a non-working letter H! - as in estHer HersHenHorn!
I looked at my Geek Squad card glued to my desk: they had 24-7 service.
Instantly I fell in love with Angie the Technician. Guess who found out that temporary keyboard works on Triple A batteries?!
Sorry to be so winded but technology lapses do that to me!
I loved your poem. :)

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you to Linda, Buffy, and Esther! Esther, an earlier computer of mine had a broken key. I don't remember which letter, but I do remember when a frustrated toddler threw his bottle at it! My only recourse was to replace the keyboard--easier to do with a desktop than a laptop. Good luck with your technology, too!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Technology means you can't go home again. Only onward...

April Halprin Wayland said...

Technology means you can't go home again. Only onward...

Bridget Magee said...

Good luck, Joann! Amazing what technology can and can't do - nothing replaces "flaming leaves". =)

Cat Michaels said...

Walks and poetry are wonderful antedotes to technology woes. Thanks for sharing. I have a love/hate relationship with tech but find I cannot live without it. btw....Apple Care is a top-notch, US-based tech support team that has saved my bacon whenever I have a glitch or question about my macbook. Dell is moving out of the PC business, so maybe next time, consider fruit-flavored computer? -:D

jan godown annino said...

A big Grrrrrr.... in support.
The chaos these tech. problems pull down on us (sometimes too often) mean we invent the old ways.
This is a stunning color & it makes me feel as if I'm enjoying a walk in the woods, while inside with the ick.
I'm so glad to read this haiku.
Flaming = your mind & the gift of the leaves overhead.
From far off Florida, a Happy Hulaween to you & your keyboard.