This technological (digital) stuff is for the birds (as my dad would have said)

Early last spring I was taking a walk during a break from tutoring at the Academic Development of Student Athletes center at SMU–walking around the Ford Football Stadium. It was one of those spectacularly clear North Texas days–chilly but with the sky a deep almost shimmering blue as I think I’ve never seen anywhere else. The result, as one might guess, was spectacularly clear shadows on the pavement.

I’ve been working at getting myself up to speed on my digital devices–iPad and iPhone. I don’t want to lug my computer on my trip to Palestine/Israel. I started by trying to figure out what the “cloud” is and how to take advantage of it. No progress. But in the process I found a plethora of photos on my phone that I had forgotten about (even more that I’ve forgotten who or what they are). This great picture of my shadow on the football stadium plaza is one of them.

This old hippie-days shot is another. It’s a scan of a pic from about 1970. Some time, at any rate, before I was old enough to know better. Better than what? Anything. The question is, “Why is the pic on my phone?” How did it get there? Must have something to do with that “cloud.”

I at least know who these people are and where the pic was taken

I’m with Maggie and Sarah (surnames omitted to protect the innocent) at after-service-sherry-hour on Christmas Eve about 1976. I think I know how that ended up on my phone–I took a picture of the old picture.

Not too long ago I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a hand-soap dispenser for my kitchen. I could not resist buying this simply because of that poster. Of course I had to take a picture of it. Isn’t that why one carries an iPhone? This simple human needed something calling itself “simplehuman.” It’s too simple, however. It stopped working after about two weeks.

Selfies. Ah! selfies. This one is from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

I’m going to have to learn how to resize pics on my iPad. I love this pic. Am I being formed as a fossil? Is that what happens when you turn 70?

And finally, one that means something, something important. I know how it got onto my phone – I asked someone to take it because I want to remember the moment. For a long time.

I’m volunteering to register students for the fall semester at the Aberg Center for Literacy, where I teach a class to prepare adult students to take the GED exam. It’s the great joy of my life right now. Who would have thought that an old guy like me could find something so useful, so enjoyable, so unselfish to do in his “retirement?”

This one I don’t want to shrink (although I’d like to know how). Perfectly selfish I am. If I’m going to do something that might benefit someone else, I want to have fun doing it – LOVE IT!

The one task I apparently didn’t figure out on my iPad is making hyperlinks. I’m sure I did it correctly, but the link would not connect when I opened this blog post on my computer. It’s the most important line here.


I think I’m blessed, lucky, happy. All of these memories, all of the sweet nonsense, all of the friends–shall I get really sentimental here?–all of that stuff would have little meaning if I could not continue–could not participate in something important, something greater than what I have already known. I’ve been given a task to keep me from fossil formation!

(I would be grateful if you’d take a look at the other project that keeps me from being “cast in stone.”)

About Harold Knight
Retired English prof, SMU. Old man. Musician. Passionate about justice, equality, freedom. Therefore, I am a fervent supporter of and advocate for the Palestinian People as they struggle to survive genocide. That also means, of course, I have no use for US 45.

One Response to This technological (digital) stuff is for the birds (as my dad would have said)

  1. Mary Kalen Romjue, Ph. D. says:

    I agree with your Dad about technology. Using your “retired” time to help others is to be praised. Glad to see that the 70’s are becoming part of your Quality Life. Take good care of yourself, there are more people who need your help.

    Mary Kalen


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