January 16 Day 314: The Speed of Change

Today I finally set up my Christmas Roomba. It was a present I requested, so you might think I would have busted it out sooner. I am happy to report that my kitchen is now crumb-free and the back hallway, where we take off our shoes, is sand/dirt free. I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

Even though I love gadgets and gizmos, I am not quick to adopt new technology. In fact, I’m down right sloth-like. Roombas were introduced in 2002. It has taken me 18+ years to decide that the technology is worth adopting. Goodness, even my mother has had a Roomba for years.

I think I am too practical. I don’t like paying top dollar for shiny new objects, especially if I am not convinced of their utility. So I wait until the wrinkles are worked out. For example:

I bought my first microwave oven in 1987, two years after graduating from college and living on my own. I wasn’t sure if I would have a use for it. Now I can’t imagine living without one.

I bought a cell phone in 2000 when I was pregnant for the first time. It was a simple flip phone meant for making “the call”. You know, the one where you call your husband and say “I think its time.” Once I realized it had more uses than my original purpose, I upgraded to a RAZR, then switched to a Blackberry. Eventually I joined the iPhone crowd in 2011. (Remember the first iPhone was introduced in 2007.)

I think the only time I have gotten a first generation technology was the iPad. And that was only because my husband thought I would really appreciate it—and he was right. I started using an iPad in my teaching beginning in 2012 and have never looked back. I have upgraded to new models over the years but I hesitated when Mark asked if I wanted one that could use an Apple pencil. What I had worked great, why would I need something new? And Mark was right again. The Apple pencil was a game changer–for drawing, for grading, and for lecturing. So that investment was worth it and prepared me for our COVID adventures these last 314 days.

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

6 thoughts on “January 16 Day 314: The Speed of Change

  1. I’m super interested in how you use your iPad and apple pencil for grading. One of my biggest time sucks is giving feedback on students’ work digitally. I have no idea how to do it efficiently


      1. Oh yeah. Sorry about duplicate questions. We are 100% google classroom/google docs. When kids turn in hand written work, they either scan a pdf or turn in a jpg that they capture from their camera.


  2. I’m too amused by this, as I can relate! I was also having a debate with myself on whether I should get a roomba. We have two dogs who shed, so it makes sense… but not enough sense to give it a go apparently. Maybe next year.

    And I was also late on the smartphone train. I got my first one in 2012, which was a Blackberry. It only took me until –this past September– to finally get an iPhone. The store clerks nearly laughed me out of the store when I asked a Blackberry upgrade. I sure miss those buttons. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My iPad was the gateway to the rest of the apple suite. Otherwise, I may have joined you as a Blackberry hold out. I’m currently debating when to upgrade my iPhone. I have a 6S which is pretty darn old in terms of technology. It needs a new battery to be useful. While we are staying at home, I can plugged into power anytime and not worry. But I am coveting the new cameras … that may be the tipping factor.


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