Thursday, September 15, 2011

Better Than Rosetta Stone: Bilingual in Three Weeks

I've gone twenty-two long years being technologically inept. I'm proud to say that I'm one of the last people to have a feature phone. (To those smart phone users - that's a phone that just makes calls and sends texts.) Rather than embracing the shift towards a technology-driven world, I have shied away and have stuck to my old ways. Just three weeks ago I entered the dietetic internship and plummeted head-first into cyberspace by starting to learn a new language: "techspeak".

On our third day of orientation we were given a tutorial on how to use twitter and were given the low down on twitter lingo. Did you know that retweet(RT) is to repeat or quote another's tweet? I didn't! Not only did this new information not make sense to me, but I didn't get the point. I thought the only people who tweeted were Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Twitter actually has a purpose? It was time for me to buckle down and get with the program.

Next, we learned HTML. I'm sorry, "Hypertext Markup Language". Our instructor told us that if we were moving too slowly that we could go ahead in the handbook, but she wanted to move at a pace that everyone could follow. I could not follow. All of the a target="blank"s were making my head hurt. That night I went home and practiced everything we learned that day. Twice. HTML and coding were not going to be the end of me!

As we progressed through the internship I learned some interesting things. To solely English-speaking people "web crawlers" are most likely spiders or some sort of pest in the home. In "techspeak", however, it's the way in which Google and various other databases find websites using "keywords" or "tags". That would have been lost in translation to someone that wasn't rapidly learning "techspeak".

Fast-forward three weeks: I'm halfway through my first IT rotation at FNIC(Food and Nutrition Information Center) and am thriving. Creating spotlights on web pages: Check. Fixing broken links on the website: Check. Tweeting: Of course! Three weeks ago none of this made sense, but this has quickly turned me from ignorant to proficient in the cyber world. I'd like to think that I know everything that has to do with "techspeak", but I'm not quite fluent yet!

Until next time!
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  1. I am so proud! Who knows, you might even convert to a smart phone before its over! I think we are all going to learn a lot about the web that will really put us ahead in the job hunting market

  2. Wow, I can't believe it's been 3 weeks of rotations already. You sound so tech savvy... Love the post!

  3. Great post! Imagine how tech savvy you will be by the end of the internship.