Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My contribution to Ada Lovelace Day: Alison Ruth

Here's my contribution to Ada Lovelace Day, a day of which I was previously unaware but thanks to The Memes of Production I signed up for something, so better follow through with a post.

Once upon a time there was a very young and naive Phd student. She had just completed an honours thesis and made the decision to study further into her much loved area of television. When she rocked up to her little regional university campus on the first day of her scholarship she was presented with a desk in a shared office and a strange looking computer which turned out to be a very very old Mac that the School of Humanities had decided they would kindly bestow upon her. Once she worked out how to turn it on she was more or less stumped, having used a PC up until that point. Lucky for her, also on the campus was a continuing PhD student and Mac afficionado named Alison Ruth. At first the young student found Alison all a bit scary. She was, as they say, "full on". She wore a lot of purple, sometimes shaved her head in the summer and seemed to know a lot about all things technical. What's more she had thrown off the chains of patriarchy by having no surname. After about six months of struggling away on her crappy old Mac the little PhD student plucked up the courage to speak to Alison Ruth about her computer. It was from Alison that she learned of the wonders of all things Apple. It was also from Alison that she was first introduced to Google. For a while as students together, we shared an office. We would console each other regarding the disastrous body odour of our fellow researcher, an Englishman. We would also take turns in going up to the local shopping centre to get kebabs for lunch. When Alison went away I sometimes fed her cat. And when she moved to Brisbane she entrusted me with two of her figs in pots (now unfortunately no more). Alison was writing a PhD about online technologies and teaching which she eventually has finished with flying colours at Griffith and is now very respectably employed there. She writes her own blog, Vicarious Conversations and has invented the term "flitteracy" which this little now-finished PhD student thinks is fantastic in terms of describing how we engage with online technologies. Alison has recently been recognised for her excellence in teaching others about technology and other stuff. She still likes purple as you will see if you check out her blog.


alison said...

Thanks Wendy. You know, I've tried to come up with my own inspirational woman, but I'd probably have to go back to my high school days. (Or is that daze?)

My Year 10 Maths and English teacher. She did both and is probably responsible for the variety of things I have done.

Oh, and I don't think I ever quite shaved my head, just went very short. :D

Wendy said...

very very short ;)

funny isn't how there's always one or teachers you remember and the rest are a "daze"
for me it was my year 10 and 11 music teacher and my senior english teachers...one of who I work with now!
it's a funny old world