A Geek Girl's Totally Unsolicited Steve Jobs Tribute

Between mourning and drinking wine to mark the passing of a true American genius, I wrote this piece about my relationship with apple computer. Then I sent it to xoJane.
Publish date:
October 6, 2011
computers, geekery, steve jobs

A million years ago, (OK, 1990) I was a very young, single mother to a 1-year-old, working two jobs while taking a full load of classes and trying to be a decent mom. That was the year that I also had to take my very first computer classes; MS DOS and basic word processing.

I HATED these classes. I was pretty sure that I would never willingly use a computer after a semester of staring at a plain screen black screen with horrible, flashing green DOS commands. I still have flashbacks of geeky guys making fun of the “art fag” in the computer class. Well, that was until the AV Department (one of the places I worked) got a Mac Quadra 900. I watched, transfixed, as the newly hired (and terribly cute) Mac expert worked pure magic on that machine. He actually invited me to “play with it.”

Eventually I was the AV department's Mac artist. I did presentations and illustrations for various faculty members and amazed everyone (myself included) with how fast I picked up these new skills. At that point in time, I didn't know Steve Jobs from Steve McQueen, nor did I really understand just how amazing the technology I was "playing with" was.As the toll of studio art classes, two jobs and a toddler reached an apex and I had a big project due for my print-making class, I decided that I needed a faster, easier way than hours in the dark room to create images for a photo silk screening project. I had been using Photoshop and Illustrator for work assignments for some time, and decided to play around with the photos for my project.

Long story short, I figured out some stuff that had not been done before and managed to bridge the gap between graphic arts and fine arts. Apple got wind of what I did and was impressed. Job offers were made, plans to move to Cupertino were started, then the Apple crash of the early 90s happened and my job was one of many that went away. I was crushed. Not long after, I dropped out of school. I went on to do many other things, hair stylist, retail buyer, non-profit manager before I found myself back in the world of technology. Due to job requirements, I became proficient with a PC, but at heart I was a Mac girl through and through.

With age and experience comes wisdom and knowledge. I developed a deep-seated respect for Steve Jobs. Actually I had a full on nerd crush on the man. He was a college dropout like me, and he managed to build something amazing and revolutionary. He was not only a computer geek, but an artist. I knew that we shared a common modality and spiritual path.

And although I still ponder what my life would have become if I had gotten that job with Apple and moved to Cupertino, I know that just the fact that Steve was creating an amazing, beautiful and artistic world in the realm of technology made a niche for me to go on to become the computer geek-goddess that I am today. When I heard the news that he had resigned, I truly hoped that he was going to spend the rest of his life (a long and healthy one) loving his family, enjoying what he had created and knowing that he had made the world of computers amazing for all of the artists and dreamers. I also feared in the back of my mind that he knew that his time was up and he was turning over the helm to whom he trusted while he still had the chance.

Today, hearing of his passing and realizing that I was correct, I am deeply saddened. I know it may seem silly to be loyal to a “brand,” but I will always be a Mac at the core.

Thank you, Steve, for being the father to my inner geek girl. I do not know how to repay you but will spend my life trying.