Mecca

The first day that I went to class, as soon as I walked into the room, I knew that ninety percent of my tuition money was going into a setting that I would see for three hours a week, one semester of the freshman year of my tenure here at Vanderbilt.  That place is absolutely teeming with technology. 

It seems almost insulting to have a whiteboard in that room.  There are billions of whiteboards right next to it on the interactive TV-computer, which is hooked up to a computer and a video camera.  Across the room, past the microphones, intercoms, brand new Dell XPS’s and Macbook Pros, cell phones with better computing power than computers 5 years ago, watches whose functions would at one time have occupied a machine that filled an entire room, power outlets built into the table, and Matt Hall, who I am beginning to believe is part robot, lie 2 monitors.  The first is a projection screen almost like any other, the second an HD (I think) TV.  Both are hooked up to the center console which runs through the walls and floor and up into the table. 

Think of all of the power that these machines use.  The only reason I know to go to class is that the lights flicker in my dorm room in Kissam, and I think to myself, “They turned it on.” 

Did I forget anything?  Oh yes, the control.  Whether this thing is at the very proficient fingertips of Jay Clayton or the possibly bionic fingertips of Matt Hall, it has the power to make the room light or dark, to start and stop movies, to order pizzas, to read minds, to launch missiles at small middle-eastern countries, to communicate with aliens; the list is endless.

All in all, I would say, the class has adjusted to the mass technology present in the classroom pretty well; people crack jokes about paper and paper-related material.  Paper, in our minds, makes a good mousepad, but doesn’t suffice for turning in essays or taking quizzes.  Oh, gods of technology, you have made a Mecca for techno-geeks school-wide.

-Jeff

P.S. I would also like to say to my classmates as well as my professors, don’t upset the classroom unless you would like to see a Terminator-esque technology-versus-man war in the near future.

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One thought on “Mecca”

  1. I think the robotic reference is more toward personality. Our hope is that the technology enhances learning. It should never get in the way of experiencing the goal of our course — conversation, analysis, and writing.

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