Thank You, Steve Jobs.

The first computer I ever used was an Apple IIe.  At my aunt’s house, I logged onto AOL and discovered the internet.  At school, our new computer lab was soon full of similar Apple computers.  I remember indoor recess sessions at my elementary school spent playing Number Munchers and Oregon Trail.  The Apple computers were easy to use and we were drawn to them.  Then, when I got to high school, we had a lab full of brand new iMacs and I was officially in love.

Slowly, people around me fell in love with Apple, too.  Today, my brothers and sisters own a variety of iPods.  My youngest sister doesn’t remember a world without iPods and iPhones.  My friends bought Macbooks, iMacs, Macbook Airs.  Currently, my brother is saving his money for his first Mac laptop.  I ordered my Verizon iPhone the morning preorders were available and I love it.  My friends own iPhones.  In fact, I learned of Job’s death from a text on my iPhone.   I raced to open my NYTimes app to see if the news was true.  I then pulled up the Apple homepage.  All on my phone, thanks to Apple and Steve Jobs.

When I was in college and could finally afford to buy the laptop of my dreams, I purchased my first Macbook.  I saved for months and researched for even longer.  The day my refurbished laptop arrived, I tore into the packaging.  Right out of the box it was ready to use.  My love grew deeper.  Today, I am using a Macbook Pro and can not imagine ever going back to a PC.

I also remember watching Steve Jobs as he introduced the iPod.  A few years later, my now-husband purchased me an iPod touch for Christmas.  I still have it.  I salivated over the industry-changing iPad when it was introduced and my amazing husband surprised me with one for my birthday.  I use Apple products everyday and they have changed my life.

I’ve been an Apple fangirl for most of my life.  At my techy high school, Steve Jobs was an idol.  His innovation and willingness to try and fail served as an example to us all.  This commercial was an inspiration to my class.  The school put up “Think Different” posters all over, which I loved.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Tomorrow, I will share Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address from 2005 with my freshman.  I’ve already posted the above commercial on our class Facebook page and our school BBS.

Two days ago, I sat in our faculty room during my prep and watched the announcement from Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.  I was hoping to see a surprise appearance by Steve Jobs, wearing his trademark blue jeans.  While he didn’t appear, the announcement left me excited and of course, wishing I could upgrade to the new iPhone 4S.

Tonight, I mourn the loss of a true innovator.  Steve Jobs, I thank you for being an inspiration.  You lived your life proving that liberal arts and engineering not only can go hand-in-hand, but that they must go hand-in-hand.  You weren’t afraid to fail and you showed the rest of the world that sometimes failing is the only way to truly succeed.  You changed the way we communicate with each other, the way we consume and create media, and our expectations for personal and mobile computing devices.  Steve, you had the courage to think you could change the world. And you did.  I thank you.