Edith Brooks Learns To Love Computers
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Early one Tuesday morning, 50-year-old Edith Brooks awoke with a smile on her face, thinking of the children's book she was writing. She was currently on page five, and she was aiming for a ten-page book. She was eager to finish it and send it off to a publisher. She hoped that it would be successful, because she wanted to have something to leave behind for her grandchildren to enjoy and remember her by after she died. She got up, took a quick shower, fixed herself a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee for breakfast, and then sat down at her typewriter to begin her work. Yes, you read that right--her typewriter. She did not own a computer, because she was afraid of them. She worried that she would accidentally hit a key that would make her current writing projects disappear. Another reason for her fear was because family and friends had told her about getting viruses in their computers, and she worried that if she had a computer, it might get a virus. She was also concerned that viruses in her computer could somehow affect her and make her sick, too. Then, on that Tuesday morning, something happened that changed all of that.

Edith sat working at her typewriter, trying to create the perfect story. She wanted likable characters that her grandchildren could relate to and a story that they would want to read again and again. As she worked, her radio played softly in the background. She heard songs by Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Adele, and Ed Sheeran--groups and singers whom she was not familiar with but whom her grandchildren talked about often. She found that she liked their choice of music and decided that she wanted to hear more of it. She also heard something else.

During a commercial break, there was an announcement about a contest that listeners could enter. Once they entered, they could be selected to win $1,000. There was so much that Edith could do with that money if she won. It would be easier for her to pay her bills, and it would also help her grandchildren to have a great Christmas. The problem was that with no computer, there was no way for her to enter the contest. There were, however, computers at the public library, which was not far from her house. She could go there, get some help, and hopefully accomplish her goal. The hard part would be facing her computer fear. She picked up her purse and keys, stepped outside, closed and locked the door, and got in her car, a 2014 Acura TSX Wagon. There, she put on her seat belt, started the car, and headed for the library. When she arrived, she found a parking spot, unhooked her seat belt, opened her door, stepped out of the car, closed the door, and then walked up the four cement steps that led to the library entrance. When she reached the top step, she opened the door and went inside.

Inside the library, she saw 20 computers. Many of them were being used for various Internet activities, such as blogging or Facebook games. Others were being used for school assignments. Since Edith was a writer, she enjoyed people-watching. She knew, however, that people-watching would not help her to accomplish her goal, so she took a few deep breaths and headed for the service desk.

"May I help you?" asked the librarian, a heavy-set, white-haired lady who wore glasses.

"I've never used a computer. I need some help," Edith said quietly. The librarian got a strange look on her face just then, as though she thought it odd that someone had never used a computer before and wanted to use one now. She quickly recovered, however, and smiled.

"I'd be happy to help you," she said, leading Edith to an available computer. "Have a seat," she said when they arrived at a computer a moment later. Edith then sat down. "Now, what would you like to do?"

"I want to enter a contest I heard about on the radio," Edith said.

"Oh, okay," said the librarian. She showed Edith how to use her mouse to access the Internet. Edith then moved the mouse to the Internet icon, clicked on it, and opened up the World Wide Web. "You're now on the Internet. Click on the long white bar up here," she said, pointing to the address bar. Edith clicked on it, noticing the blinking cursor that was sitting there, waiting for her input. "Now type in the site you want to go to, and hit Enter." Edith then did as she was told.

When the page switched, she saw the radio station site in all of its splendor. There were headings like Playlist, News, Events, and Weather. She scrolled down the page until she found the story on the contest and then clicked on it to open it up. She smiled to herself, feeling the excitement building within her as she scrolled to the bottom of the page. There, she saw the button that said "Enter here", and she clicked it. She was suddenly energized with excitement knowing that she had entered the contest at last. She realized that computers are nothing to be afraid of, and she wondered why she had avoided them all her life. She had some time left on her computer session, so she decided to explore the computer to see what else she could do with it.

"What's this for, I wonder?" she thought to herself, looking at a white rectangle with a capital W on it. She left-clicked on it and discovered that it was the Word program, where she could type anything she wanted to. She got an idea for a story just then and started typing. She discovered that typing on the computer was fun, and she found it much easier to fix her mistakes on a computer than on a typewriter. Time passed quickly, and before she knew it, a notice popped up on her computer that read "End of Session". Reluctantly, she picked up her purse, left the library, and returned to her car to head back home.

When she got to her house, she got out of her car, walked to her front door, let herself in, walked inside, closed the door, and set her purse down on the couch. Her eyes then naturally drifted to her typewriter, as they seemed to do lately. She decided right then and there that she wanted a computer and that if she won the contest she entered, part of her winnings would go toward the purchase of a computer. She smiled at that, excited at the thought that very soon, her life could change for the better.

Works Cited

Technophobe vs. Computer. 2014. All Writing Prompts. 21 November 2015.


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