Tabula Not So Rasa

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When I hear the word tablet, I imagine something I used to carry to school, made up of paper. Buying a new one, or two, was like Christmas in September. I loved the feel of those silky white pages, begging to be filled with profound words and ponderous thoughts. But then I was the weird kid who felt depressed on the last day of school. While the other kids sang no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks, I walked home dejected, scuffing my already scuffed shoes in the loose soil on the way home.

I would count down the last days of the term with a sense of increasing dread. The summer loomed hot and vast. The chore list would expand exponentially cutting down severely on my reading and writing time. For during school I could claim I was doing “homework”.

Conversely, I would count up the calendar days leading to the first day of school. My mood would swing up, up, up toward the no longer blazing sun and shopping for school supplies was way more thrilling than shopping for clothes or shoes. Who cared what covered my body? It was what uncovered my mind that mattered. And writing was one way to delve into the deepest part of my psyche. Writing was what helped me deal with the realities of life that were thrust on me much too soon.

It was always an adventure when I put pen to paper. I never knew what would materialize onto the silk that was the page. What words would spring into existence simply by the power of my mind. My parents did not understand, or accept, my need to read and write. To my mother, it was an unhealthy vice. Not only would it make me go blind, but it kept me from my never-ending chores.

My siblings did not get it. They only touched a book when forced.  Heck, my friends didn’t get it either. My girl friends were more interested in boys and my boy friends were more interested in being my boyfriend.

I was more interested in the dynamics of behavior. The observation. What made people do what they did? Yes, I was a weirdo to all. And I reveled in my weirdness. A badge of courage. A badge of distinction, for I was distinct all right. A square peg refusing to fit into a round hole. A misfit

But it appears I am no longer a misfit in my world. My family not only accepts my need to work with the written word, they support it, and most of all encourage it. Amazingly. And one concrete way of showing that was to gift me, you guessed it, a tablet.

This tablet has no pages; instead it has a smooth backlit screen. It has the ability to do just about all that my laptop can do and is far more portable. It can even hold my entire Kindle library, no mean feat, and no more running out of triple-A batteries for my reading light in the middle of the night.

Because of their faith in me and my writing, I have been trying to get comfortable with its keyboard. Their vision being that I can carry this tablet with me and write wherever I am. But this is not an easy thing to do since my fingers are used to a regular keyboard. One that is not so touch-sensitive, and one that has all the keys I need in one flat layout. One flat, longer layout.

But I am nothing if not persistent and though typing with only a couple of fingers has been hard, I have managed to tap out this entire post on said tablet. And though it’s taken triple the time, it appears to have let me probe deeper into my sentience. Perhaps because my brain was more concerned with the technicality of writing and therefore successfully quashed my internal editor for a bit.

Or perhaps it is simply the fact that I feel freer composing on a “tablet” once again. And there is much to compose for it is true that I am no blank slate. I have been written on for quite some time.

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6 Responses to Tabula Not So Rasa

  1. J.G. Chayko says:

    I love this! I too, got my first “tablet” back in the fall when my familiar PC crashed, and I had to get used to a whole new technology. But now that I’m used to it, I love my tablet. So easy to transport and waiting to be filled with words :)

    • Irma says:

      I love mine to do research on and to read, but the typing out of documents will take some getting used to. But nothing is impossible! Thanks, J.G.

  2. Wren says:

    What a wonderful post, Irma!
    I know just what you mean about buying school supplies, and your love for new tablets of silky paper. I was the same way–and still am!
    It’s so great that your family gifted you with a computer tablet! You might check out Amazon for keyboards to use with it–there are some that are an appropriate size for actual typing, but that are just as portable as the tablet itself. Some of them even roll up!
    Thanks for sharing these words. You’ve stirred up some pleasant memories for me, and made me smile. :D

    • Irma says:

      My heart still skips a beat whenever I go by the office supply aisle. What is it about buying new pens and journals that is so exciting? Even in this digital age, my scribbles abound. I’ll have to take a look at those portable keyboards. That tablet is just so handy! I was quite surprised as I’d never expressed a desire for one at all. Guess they know me quite well. Thanks, Wren.

  3. carlascorner says:

    Hi: Have taken a few minutes to read your recent blogs. You “popped-up” in my year-end summary from WordPress. We have a lot in common, it seems, including RA, the love of new office supplies, and writing (which I do for a living as well as for fun). I look forward to seeing future posts. Have a great 2014.

    • Irma says:

      Hi, Carla. It’s great to meet you! Thank you for reading and following. I look forward to reading your posts as well. Seems we do have a lot in common. I hope you have a wonderful 2014 and may mean old RA stay far away.

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