I had always heard that a computer can be the most versatile and powerful tool in your

home. Thus, throughout my life I always dreamed of having a personal computer. About

five years ago, my parents purchased a used computer which was nothing more than a

word processor. I was excited with having it, however I soon realized that this was not

the computer I had always dreamed of. Then last summer, before going to college, I was

able to purchase my own personal Packard Bell computer, consequently affecting my life

in many important ways.

A computer can be used as a therapeutic implement for the brain. Two years ago, I

was in a serious car accident in which I received a head injury. Just as an infants brain

develops by learning and practicing, I needed to help my brain relearn many things. After

being hospitalized and going through months of therapy, I returned to high school.

Although I graduated with my class, I needed to continue to recuperate by continuing my

thinking skills during the summer, especially since I was planning to continue my

education. My doctor suggested I could either go back to Frazier Rehabilitation or I

could work on my own therapy with a computer. Because I read slowly, I do not enjoy

reading on my own, therefore by using a computer it would be a way to practice and

develop my reading skills. I purchased a computer and printer with some college money

that I had saved. Although my family was with me at the time of the purchase, we had to

rely on the salesman's expertise because none of us were very familiar enough with

computers to make that decision. Naturally, when it came time to set up the computer the

work was up to me, creating quite a challenge. I had used a computer at school but that

did not prepare me for this situation. After a day of, frustrating manuals and following the

computers directions, my computer was complete and ready for me to begin my work. I

started familiarizing myself with the computer by playing computer games that helped to

challenge my skill and imagination. Gradually, I began using multimedia resources and the

Internet, thus helping to expand my cognitive skills. It was necessary for me to learn new

information as well as refresh my memory of information which was lost.

Perhaps one of the most important tasks that my computer has to do, is helping me

with college work. I depend on my computer to help me everyday. For example, it is my

pencil, paper, and storage cabinet. As a result of my accident, the accurate movement of

my right arm was affected, causing me to have difficulty with my handwriting. By using

the computer I am able to write for longer periods of time which is necessary for college

work. In addition, my typing skills have become excellent, therefore I can jot down

information quickly so that I do not loose the thought. This is very important to me

because I have trouble with my short term memory. A computer is a good place to store

and access school work, consequently I always have my assignments. Students having to

rely on the schools computer lab, are often unable to use it when they need to. On the

other hand, I can use my computer at any time unless the electricity is off. The Internet is

a library that I can use night or day enabling me to complete my assignments with little

difficulty. Thus, my computer is an important element for me with college work.

I believe that my computer has become my hobby, in other words it is recreation at

my fingertips. This form of recreaton is more important for me because I am not able to

go out as often as my peers since I have not regained my stamina since my accident. I

have access to America On Line, therefore I use E-mail, chat with friends, and explore the

Internet almost everyday. I began using E-mail while I was away at college. Every day

my Mother would send me a good morning message, although I didn't always send a reply

I still enjoyed hearing from her. I also corresponded with relatives that live in Indiana,

North Carolina, and with friends that were going to other colleges. It really fascinated me

to be able to talk to everyone whenever I wanted. In one corner of my screen I have a

box that lets me know when friends "On Line", with this I can chat directly with them

without any interruptions. Have you ever written a letter to someone and then didn't

receive their reply for a week or more? By the time you received the letter you probably

forgot what you had said to them. Well, with my computer I can talk directly by typing a

message and they will respond immediately. I also have the opportunity to speak with

people all over the world, although it's good to be careful what information you give out

about yourself. Finally, one of the most enjoyable aspects of America Online is the

Internet. I like to look up different parts of the world and learn about the area. Maps and

pictures are usually available for me to see the country for myself. Then, if I like the

picture, especially a tropical island, I print a color copy to put on the wall of my dorm


Amazing as it may seem, I really believe my computer has been one of the most

important factors in my life. My computer not only started me on the road to recovery,

but also continues to support my life in many important ways.

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