This is an essay on my observations and feelings about my new iPod.
|My 31st birthday just passed and I got a curious gift from my best girlfriend: an iPod. I was very excited because I had gone on a trip to Nebraska for a funeral and had borrowed hers for the few days that I was gone. She thought it would help, and help it did. What an invention! When I brought it back to her from Nebraska, I told her how much it had helped. A few days before my birthday, she texted me telling me that she had found the perfect gift for me for my birthday in an aha moment. I asked her if I should worry. It was not difficult to get her to give up what it was because she was afraid that I might be looking for one and worse, might buy one before my birthday got here. I was ecstatic! An iPod? For me? That was the best gift ever! But the expense. That worried me. It was an older one, though - a 20GB fourth generation that had been refurbished. The reason that I had not gotten my own was the expense. They are not cheap! But as a gift? Could I accept? OF COURSE!!!
So, the day before my birthday, my iPod had arrived at my friend's mother's house. Yes! We went over and got it on our way to do a wetlands delineation. After the delineation, we parted for a bit to shower and clean up at our respective apartments. I took my laptop computer over to her place and we commenced setting up my iPod. The contents of the envelope containing my iPod included the iPod, a colorful blue sock, a wall charger, a USB cord, and a set of earphones. Turn the iPod on. Check. Turn the computer on. Check. I had already downloaded iTunes. Check. Plug the iPod into the computer. Check. And that is when the ease of progress slowed somewhat. First, to restore the iPod. Then to have the computer freeze while trying to sync and download my audiobook on glia at the same time. Oh. And to restore the iPod again, per the help instructions. My friend was getting worried at this point that my refurbished beauty was damaged or corrupted. The computer kept freezing at the sync/copy step. And the iPod would not allow iTunes to close, even with Task Manager, so long as it was connected to the computer. Therefore, we had to disconnect the iPod several times against its warnings not to. Bad for the iPod. We restored the iPod a third time. I took all of the automatic update and sync functions down to manual only to see if that would help. Finally, as we were getting ready to send my iPod back and split the cost on a new one, I plugged the USB cord into my third USB port on my laptop - the only one I had not plugged it into yet. And it worked! Dear Lord, it worked! Praise God! I could keep my iPod and it worked!
So, what did I download? First, a book called "The Other Brain" about glia and its possible functions beyond packing material for the brain's neurons. Next? Lady GaGa. Breaking Benjamin. Eminem. Rammstein. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Jeff Buckley. KT Turnstall. Linkin Park. I know, what a mix, but I have to have a variety. It really depends on how I feel. I also downloaded another book called, "A Rumor of War" about Vietnam. And that is my spending limit for a while. I feel good about getting my iPod all set up for the near future. It works great! I was having iPod withdrawls during class the day after my birthday, and I am sure to have withdrawls again tomorrow during class. This thing is great!
Who would have thought that an iPod could be such a wonderful device? Obviously, Apple Inc. thought it would be, but I am talking about people like myself that "don't need stuff like that" and "can live without it"? Wow. I have gone this long without an iPod? How did I ever survive?! You can download individual songs that you like without having to buy the whole album just for that one song. You can download audio books and listen to them while you are doing other things. You can listen to a hundred CD's' worth of music without lugging around a portable CD player and fragile, scratchable CD's to places where it would be much less than convenient. This device - the iPod - has changed my life in the few days since I received it. Wow. What a difference a little innovation can make! And for this, MY FRIEND, thank you so much!
Now, since I have now had my iPod for a month and a half, I have a few things to add. First, my content has expanded to include many more artists and a few more audiobooks. The audiobooks are all about war, mostly Vietnam. These, remarkably enough, calm me down when I listen to them. This comes as a bit of a surprise because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a raging, chronic case of it, at that. Normally I do everything in my power to avoid anything reminding me of the War, but it gives me something to identify with, I think. My psychiatrist finds solace in reading war books, so I figured I would try my hand at it. It seems to work. I do have nightmares, but I have those anyway. The nightmares are not as bad when I listen to my audiobook before I go to sleep. So I keep my iPod close to my side, like an extra appendage, at almost all times. The only times that I do not have it on and listening to it are when it is charging or I am in a graduate class listening to theories, facts, figures, and therapies of psychology. I am applying to medical schools and will eventually be a psychiatrist myself. I am confident in this because I do not know how to quit. I never have. And I can just plug my earphone into my ears, put on some good tunes (dependent upon what mood I am in at the time) on my iPod, and write, and study, and think, and do what I need to do. I have classical music, acoustic music, rap music, rock music, Arab music, Yiddish music, alternative music, jazz music, blues music...I have just about every mood of music that I could ever hope to need. And all on a 20GB refurbished iPod. Thank God for friends and iPods. Music is so powerful. It can do anything, and so can each of us under its influence. Audiobooks are a great advent as well. Like a narrative theater play in your living room, in your bedroom, in your office, in your classroom, wherever. The iPod is a revolutionary product. It brings to fruition the hopes and ideas of many and the innovation of brilliant minds. I am truly inspired by this little wonder. It has truly changed my life. I must thank my friend for that. Without you, Ket, I would still be in the dark ages in a lot of ways. Thank you for bringing me up to date!
Okay, a third edit is warranted here. My in-the-ear sport earphones, my classic 20GB white iPod, and the various accessories that go with it are my treasures. I am listening to music according to my mood (of choice? or not...), but my mood is changing. I started out by listening to acoustic guitar - mellow. Now I am listening to some upbeat blues - slightly more lively and complex. Next? Who knows. The nice part is that I do not have to run in search of music to fit my mood. It is all right here. Cool! Audio books, now, they are a different subject. Those kind of depend on the narrator. My brain audio book absolutely puts me to sleep every time I put it on, which I think is a pity because there is a lot I could, and would like to, learn from that book, but the narrator...wow... I do not care how awake I am when I put it on, I am asleep within 20 minutes! So narrator choice is important. My friend's friend suggested to her that she should read - be a narrator - for audio books because she has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to. I wondered last night...could I read my vast body of poetry and make an audiobook of it? I would not have to worry about others misinterpreting my style or getting the emPHASis on the wrong sylLABle. Odd word breaks would be demystified as the author skillfully read the piece, revealing in true aha! moment style the meaning of the poem - take it or leave it. But I might have to have my friend read it. We were discussing how we like our voices the way the resonate inside our own skulls, but we hate them when we hear them on a tape recorder. I like her voice as I hear it. What do you think, Ket? Okay, I will read my own, but you have to be my moral support. Deal?