I have been asked as my first assignment for the MIT Media Lab MOOC “Learning Creative Learning” to write about an object that I encountered in my childhood which transformed my life.
My object was a toy typewriter.
I wrote a blog post about my love of writing and written communication that can be seen here.
Here are the relevant parts relating to my fortune in getting this object in the first place:
“He remembered the first time that he encountered something different. One Christmas, when presents were being distributed as they always were. He had been given a Meccano set. His brother has been given a toy typewriter. He had never really enjoyed making things out of nothing, his brother had an aversion to writing but loved creating things from string and sticks or getting some construction kit and making a model from what seemed like little bits of an impossible jigsaw.
Later, when he had settled into his new Digital land, he would find out about a man, Sir Ken Robinson, who would write a book that told about finding your “element”. He knew that his element was not in construction and his brother did not like writing. In an inspired moment worthy of the judgement of Solomon, his parents decided to swop the gifts around.
He faced the typewriter which worked very slowly and laboriously to put letter after letter onto a piece of typing paper. It was magical to him. He found that he could write and that with his writing came communication to others. It all came so easily.”
I went on to describe my later discovery of an Amstrad electronic word-processor. This machine made my mechanical experience of a machine that can make my ideas with words come alive into an easier experience.
This led me to a fascination with the power and potential of the fast developing world of digital technology that has led me to my second year as an LCL student.
As I type these words for my assignment on my Nexus 7 tablet, I can see a direct line of interest in writing and technology that derived from that first sight of a small toy typewriter!