My Techy Computer Confession...

My life revolves around the computer. Whether I am teaching, traveling, writing, or researching, I am online much of each day. I have in my home office, three monitors connected to my desktop. The use of the three monitors does make my time on the computer much easier for me.

Al at his desk

However, I do have a confession about my computer world. I am not a gifted techy. I am heavily into being right-brained, meaning that I see things from a global perspective and am not into details, which is a forte of left-brain people. However, I do cross over in a couple of areas to left-brain thinking. I want things that I send out into cyberspace to be near perfect and exact.

My other confession is that, while I need the computer to function in my world, I did not come naturally to the computer. The computer came into my life when I was in my late 40s and was not weaned on techy things like iPads, laptops, or even desktops. I was close to being 50-years old when I realized that I had to become familiar with the computer and online work, which was over two decades ago.

When Ann and I go to Indy to babysit for Jack and Owen, I pull up Handy Manny on my old laptop. Jack is 3½ and Owen is 1½. Both of them will touch the screen of the laptop to change games or go to another page. It is embarrassing to realize that I am that dated and that I do not have a touch screen computer. Here I am with two grandchildren whose combined age is 5, and I am 71. They try to use my old computer as an iPad.

Fortunately, Jack and Owen do not realize yet that I am as antiquated as I am. However, my web administrator whose name is China is different. She often realizes that I am not on the cutting edge of computer competency or capability but thankfully she lets me know in a kind way. If you wish to deal with a web administrator whose is cutting edge, go to her webpage. I believe that she is the best person to set up one's webpage and to be a website administrator. Therefore, it is embarrassing to Skype her about some question or problem and realize that I am far from being computer competent techy.

Al talking to China on Skype

This is a recent case in point. I was on Skype talking with China about my excitement about suggesting to Min Ko Naing and Joan Baez to have a rally at Sule Pagoda. At that rally, Joan Baez could sing We Shall Overcome, which was the national anthem of the civil rights movement when I was in college in the early 60s. I then suggested that I needed to find someone in Myanmar to translate the lyrics of We Shall Overcome into Burmese and have the thousands at the rally singing the translated version of that song in response to Joan Baez singing it in English.

Wired is the word to describe my mental state having recently returned from Myanmar early in January. On August 8, 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi addressed 500,000 people at Sule Pagoda. Imagine the impact upon the people of Myanmar, the military government, and the world to revisit Sule Pagoda with the Lady, Min Ko Naing, and Joan Baez.

Since this idea came to me while writing Protest Movements in Myanmar and the US, I am in the process of contacting Joan Baez, Min Ko Naing, and the 88 Generation Students Group about my idea. That is a no-brainer. I need to get others excited about my idea.

I then raised the question about how I could contact Joan Baez. China asked whether I looked for her on Facebook or her website. I had not. My rationale was that Joan Baez is almost exactly two years older than me...and I am 71. You do the math. Why would she be on Facebook? Besides, China was the one who forced me to get onto Facebook.

There was a slight pause followed by China's retort, "Hey, she has a huge Facebook page." Was I was embarrassed? Yes.

Then I went off talking about that I cannot believe that Joan Baez was on Facebook. In the midst of my bewildered comment, China interrupts my lament with "Wait!!!" That is not China's style. Startled, I asked what? China, who is now also wound up said, "Here is a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi and Joan Baez in Prague 2013." Talk about disbelief. Here is the photo of the Lady and Joan Baez.

Joan talking to Aung San Suu Kyi

Joan Baez talking to Aung San Suu Kyi

Go to Joan Baez on Facebook and scroll down to September 17, 2013.

My embarrassment gets even worse. Joan Baez wrote a poem for the Lady.

A Poem for Aung San Suu Kyi

Under house arrest
in her apartment
Aung San Suu Kyi keeps
the sun at her feet
for beauty in the fall,
warmth in the winter
and kickball in the spring
Wild flowers grow
on her censored bookshelves
and birds deliver
a hundred handwritten messages a day
She carries silence in her glass steps
listening to Mozart
in her head
played on a piano
every note
Outside the government crumbles

Then China paused again. I feared her next statement. "If you go to Joan Baez's website and click on Contacts, you will find a page of people you might want to contact regarding her singing We Shall Overcome at the Sule Pagoda this coming August 8, 2014."

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.