Becoming a crazy technology lady

27 Aug


I was recently nominated by a coworker to become our office’s crazy technology lady. It turns out there’s only so many times you can try to explain steampunk or your desk dalek, or nod understandingly when another office’s crazy technology guy mentions breadcrumbs, or expect other people to have seen “that one TED talk about gamification.” Eventually you’ve just painted yourself into a crazy corner. Luckily once you’re there, you get to wear cool glasses frames and everyone takes your word for it when you try to explain the ethos behind open source software.

I don’t feel like I deserve to join the ranks of crazy technology people. Sure, I read Boing Boing over my lunch break, but the last time I spent any time working with HTML was probably to make my Myspace profile even more of a crime against design. Despite my enthusiastic start, I haven’t gotten very far on CodeAcademy. The only reason I know anything about the Moodle platform I may be using at work is long dinner conversations with Karla, a close friend, teacher and early adopter.

But I do want to become a crazy technology lady. To me it’s simple: I value being a good citizen in meatspace, so I should value being a good citizen in the Metaverse. To me, that means learning as much as you can about what’s out there, contributing to it, and sharing the results.


This is my Cadette Girl Scout vest. Trust me, the Junior one was more impressive.

To that end, I want to learn more about how to better create meaningful web content. I discovered the Webmaking 101 course in the process of learning more about badges, with the goal of becoming a badge issuer for a program I staff called the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. I really enjoy earning badges of any kind: stars on a chore chart, badges on my Girl Scout vest, lesson badges on Duolingo. So of course I got sidetracked from badges in theory by figuring out how to earn a new kind of badge in practice, and here I am, writing a blog post to complete the first challenge. I’ve got my Badge Backpack on, and I’m ready for the next adventure.


6 Responses to “Becoming a crazy technology lady”

  1. Karla Olson August 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    While my tech skills are minimal, at best, in the larger world, I’m considered the crazy techie teacher in high school teacher hierarchy (the crazy being innate and modifying “teacher,” not “techie”). And I love that. Even more so because I used to be a confirmed Luddite, neurotically so.

    When I first walked into my college’s library my freshman year, and found computer consoles instead of physical card catalogs (1984, mind you), I panicked and didn’t return for about two years. I recall the first time I saw a letter to the editor of _Rolling Stone_ magazine that used an early email address instead of city & state; I thought the weird, random collection of numbers & letters was a misprint, and then it scared me. I balked at even owning a computer…until I got one. It was love at first baud.

    For the first near-half of my life, I was an anxiety-ridden fear hoarder. I lost my social anxiety around the same time I decided that pressing a key to see what happened might be fun. They go together for me. So yeah, I’m pretty happy when the IT folks at my schools give me extra admin capabilities over my corner of the server, and it feels powerful when I have colleagues ask my opinion on workflow options.

    Also? You are a terrific writer. Always were. Write more, so I can read more!

  2. Cath August 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    You sound a lot like me, enjoy the course!

  3. Algot Runeman August 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Go for it. Crazy like a fox.

    Webmaking 101 will get you as far as making an empty website (with a “Hello World” page). Don’t stop there.

    Quickly add a standard index.html page and make links from there to all your exploratory work. Change it. Update it. Get good with FTP.

    Use the tags you learn along the way to make lots of pages. Test out your skill with all the basic stuff like
    bold and italic.

    Then work into doing styling with CSS. Don’t stall while you “learn it all.” Make stuff while your skills are still basic. W3Schools has some very targetted lessons with the ability to try online.

    Always remember to ask. P2PU is peer support.

    PS Love your writing style, just as Karla Olson said.

  4. Melanie September 8, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Veronica,
    I love and covet your desk dalek! Great writing. Am also very impressed by and a little frightened of that badge vest!



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