One of my senior pictures, showing me with a computer

Hello. If by some strange coincidence you have come to be viewing this without knowing who I am, let me introduce myself. My name is Donald B. Guy. At time of this writing, I am a senior at Ocean Lakes High School in Mrs. Molodow's AP English Literature/Composition Class. I am a pretty good student in this class as I am in most classes. Of course, there will plenty of that to read about on the other pages.

When asked to select a overarching metaphor for this project–—one that I could relate to and which provided a good analogue for my maturation as a reader, writer, and thinker–-it didn't take me a particularly long time to jump to my first field of academic achievement and passion. This is to say that I literally and figuratively jumped to a computer. (Well, perhaps I actually waited a few months to do so literally). I honestly now and throughout my life have turned to the computer as a reader, a writer, and a thinker.

cover of Make Your Own Web Page--for Kids!

A would say it is probably safe to say that the majority of people do not find the computer section of their local bookstore to be a very interesting place. Clearly, my opinion differs a little. As I will discuss later, while I have always read a lot of fiction, I have actually read an increasing amount of nonfiction as I've grown older. While now even this is a very varied field for me, when it started out, nonfiction held pretty much one attraction for me: the computer book. From one of my first computer books, Make Your Own Web Page--for Kids! by Ted Pedersen, to the complex tomes of Donald Knuth's Art of Computer Programming, which I own but have yet to conquer, the genre has given me quite a lot. Because of the nature of the books, I don't really have favorite authors. I do, however, have certain small publishers to whom a feel a special affinity. These include No Starch Press, The Pragmatic Programers, and O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Clearly, as you can see, the computer has provided me quite a few opportunities as a reader. It has provided infinitely more if you count the multitude of information I have read on the internet. (Wikipedia alone probably accounts for as much reading as this class).

More significantly than reading, the computer has shaped me as a thinker. Both in abstract terms of being analytical and in some specific habits of thought and communication, such as nesting tangential stories, the computer has shaped me as a thinker. Even when computing is the farthest thing from my mind, you will likely take note of my habitual use of anyway as an introductory phrase. Though there are a few possible explanations for how I developed this habit, I am apt to believe it comes from a need to have some sort of Control Character (an invisible character like a newline or an end-of-file) signaling a change of topic. These two practices even find there way into formal writing occasionally, though you will find that I exchange anyway for nevertheless and however and that, rather than having tangential changes of subject, I will have long, deeply-nested series of appositives, parentheticals, etc.

In dealing with my writing using the computer, however, I refuse to discount that which is, more specifically than computers in general, the theme of my website: programming. Specifically this site deals with each of the last few years as it corresponds to the steps in the creation of a program from conception to execution. I worked very hard (albeit a little late) on this reflection. I hope you enjoy it.

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Image of Make Your Own Web Page--for Kids! from Amazon.com, Retrieved 11 March 2008.