Daily Archives: September 3, 2020

All My (Mobile) Phones

My first phone was one of those large, heavy devices that were exclusively for calling someone. I think I called it my car phone. Note that it was not as large as my dad’s car phone from the 1980s. Mine was more like the phone in this photo.

My second phone was likely a flip phone, but I honestly don’t remember it much. A workmate tried to teach me how to text on it, but it was so laborious, I never did it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to text, I did, but I didn’t want to deal with a numerical keyboard.

I wanted a real keyboard, so that’s why I saved my money when T-Mobil announced the Sidekick would be available in early 2003. I was the coolest kid on the block (except for everyone who had Blackberries). The screen swiveled out and revealed the physical keyboard. It had a large (black and white) display. I loved it. I named it Loki because it could shape shift. I ended up getting a couple more Sidekicks, until I saw a commercial for an iPhone.

I wanted that iPhone, but I didn’t (and still don’t) like the brand. Not long after the iPhone came out, the first Android phone was announced. Again I saved my money to buy one of the first Android phones, the T-Mobile MyTouch. It was my first phone without a physical keyboard and that was hard to get used to. I bought it the day before we went to Northern Wisconsin where there was no service which kind of sucked, but it had enough on it to keep me busy. It was such a cute phone.

My next phone was a Samsung Galaxy SIII. I think by the time I go this one, my excitement about smart phones was over. Not that I was not excited about it at first, but there was not much different, other than size, from the MyTouch.

There were a couple other phones in between the Galaxy SIII and the Pixel 3a that I use today, including an LG G6 that I still have, and could use if something happened to my Pixel phone. Those phones were either LGs or Samsungs and I gave them to Andrew when he broke, lost or had it stolen.

My three outdated phones in the photo above might find themselves at the recycling center along with Franklin. Maybe just the Samsung, since it is completely dead and kind of boring.

My Franklin Language Master

I have never been a good speller which is why I thought I was not a good writer for many years. It wasn’t until automatic spellcheck that I realized I was a halfway decent writer.

Before automatic spellcheck was a thing, I wrote, but I also misspelled many more words than I misspell today. I was always mortified when someone would call me out on it, like the time I wrote a heartfelt letter to my third-grade teacher telling it was because of her I’d become a teacher myself and gave it to a colleague to read. She said I should not send it because there were too many misspellings. Then there was the time I misspelled negative (I wrote negitive) on a memo to other upper grade teachers and one teacher sent it back, circled in red. They were not wrong in pointing out the misspellings, but I wish they’d been a little kinder, like the time our principal (the one who asked if my second pregnancy was planned — so she wasn’t all bad) said that my note to parents asking for feedback on something we were doing was very will written, but she was pretty sure input was spelled with an N instead of an M. I spelled it like I said it, imput).

In or around 1990, Dean gave me (probably at my request) an electronic dictionary called a Language Master. You’d start typing a word and it would give you suggestions. I could always figure out the right word when I saw it in print, but I could not always see it in my head, then put it on paper correctly. The device also had games, including hangman.

This device came in very handy when I was applying for a teaching position for a public school system. I was given a specific amount of time to write an essay to a prompt and asked if I could use the electronic dictionary. They said I could, and was able to write a compelling enough essay to get me hired, that contained no spelling mistakes.

One of my retirement goals is to go through the mountains of crap in my attic closet which houses several old electronics and dispose of them.

Franklin no longer works. The only thing it displays are vertical lines, that look like a UPC code. I think I know what they mean though:

Display reads "I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dona. Dona, my mind is going.

So the time has come to dispose of my first electronic device. Thank you, Franklin, you served me well.