Essay-1st-Prize-Banner Once upon a time there was a world
without computers.


A world without computers, cell phones or ipods would probably be like a nightmare for most people. Everyday we use these products without even thinking twice about it. They have made such an impact on our lives, that most of us can’t even imagine life without them.


Impossible, you say? Actually no! In fact, I dreamt it. I woke up and everything was different, my room, my clothes, everything! I pinched myself to make sure I was awake, and I was, because it hurt! “Wake up, honey,” my mom yelled, “Time for school,” and I was glad to know that not everything had changed.

When I went into the kitchen, the microwave was gone and there were no poptarts waiting for me on the counter. “No poptarts today?” I asked. My mom looked puzzled. “What is wrong with you child? Have you been dreaming? Let’s go to school. We’re late.” When I went outside my mom said, “Go open the gate.” “Don’t you have the clicker?” “What is wrong with you today? Go and open the gate!” She ordered.

Outside there was this immense iron gate with a big old car in front of it. “What happened to the mini van?” I asked with panic in my voice. My mom raised her eyes to the heaven and said, “God help me. What am I going to do with this child?” As we drove to school, I decided to check my book bag to make sure I brought all my homework. “Let’s go back, I forgot my computer homework.” My mom slammed on the brakes, turned to me and said, “That’s it, I’m taking you to a psychiatrist.”

The rest of the way, we drove in silence. At least, I was silent, my mom was grumbling. “We’re here,” my mom said. I looked out the window and I felt I was in a movie. Grease… That’s it! I’m dreaming, and I’m part of the cast of Grease!

I walked up to the building and my friends came running to me. I hardly recognized anybody, they all looked so strange. “What’s wrong?” asked Lucy. “I don’t know I just feel weird.” I said with a big sigh. Just then the bell rang and we walked inside. “Where are you going?” she asked, “Math class is this way,” And Lucy dragged me to class. “But we have computers first today!” “What is a computer? Something is definitely wrong with you!”

In class, the teacher asked us to hand in our homework. I raised my hand. The teacher looked at me, “What? You forgot your homework?” “No,” I replied, “I emailed it to you last night! Didn’t you get it?” “Email? You mean you posted it to me?” “No…post, what’s that? Oh, you mean snail mail. No! I emailed it to your hotmail!” I heard one of the kids in the back of the room whisper. “Did you hear that? She’s got the hots for old Mr. Smith!” and everyone laughed.

“That’s it! Report to the principal’s office this instant!” “Where is that again?” I asked as he shoved me out of the classroom. “To the left!” I heard Lucy yell as I ran out. I found the principal’s office, and went in. The secretary looked at me and asked, “What are you doing here? You’re usually such a good girl?” I sighed and said, “I don’t feel like myself today.” The principal walked out and said, “In my office. Now!” I walked in.

“So, what did you do? I’m not used to seeing you in here.” “I didn’t do anything. I told Mr. Smith that I emailed my homework to him, and he got really, really mad!” “You told him what?” “Email, you know?” I said slowly, “You know, electronic mail, from computer to computer!” The principal got up and opened the door. “Get the nurse in here!” He shouted to the secretary. “I don’t need a nurse I’m perfectly fine!” “Be quiet!” The nurse rushed into the office. “What’s wrong, Mr. Russell, are you hurt?” The nurse asked with a worried voice. “Not me, it’s her. She’s hallucinating! Give her something!” “I’m fine!” I replied. “Let’s go!”

The nurse said as she marched me to her office. “Temperature’s fine. Throat looks good. Does your head hurt?” “Yes! I feel like it’s going to explode.” “I’ll call your mother.” I went home and my mom sent me to bed. “I knew you weren’t yourself today.” She said. As I lay in my bed I prayed, “Oh God please let me wake up from this nightmare.” I tried to sleep but instead I started wondering what technology has really meant to human kind.

A world without computers, cell phones or ipods would probably be like a nightmare for most people. Everyday we use these products without even thinking twice about it. They have made such an impact on our lives, that most of us can’t even imagine life without them. But in fact, it wasn’t that long ago, as my nightmare illustrates, that these innovations were not part of our daily life. All school projects had to be written by hand or typed on a conventional type writer. A telephone was exactly that, a telephone, it sat on a counter not in our pockets. Food had to be warmed up on a stove or in an oven, and “nuking” was unheard of.

For thousands of years before, human kind was able to survive without all these miracles of the microchip. I believe the invention of the personal computer and the World Wide Web is equal to the invention of electricity and the wheel. All our products are dreams of human imagination and its endless creativity. The human brain is the ultimate computer. It allows us to take our imagination to new levels, and make all our dreams come true. Without technology, humans are powerless. We cannot run as fast as cheetahs, swim as gracefully as dolphins, or swallow our prey in one gulp like the cobra. We have no chance against Mother Nature, but technology has given us the power to rise to new heights and discover so much we did not know before.

Of all these innovations the one that has impressed me most is the progress of medical technology. Laparoscopic surgery, MRI’s, you name it. As times are changing, people have longer life spans and infant mortality rates are decreasing rapidly. Nowadays, patients’ records are in a database, where all hospitals in the area have access to it. Laparoscopic surgery has become common place. No longer do we slice people open to perform minor procedures. Laser technology has done away with all that. Cardiac surgery and other dangerous operations are performed with much more ease and patients are recovering sooner. The innovated microscopes and lab technology have perfected DNA research and have given us the opportunity to study diseases and their origins as never before.

I have no doubt that we will soon be able to find cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and AIDS due to the ease that computers have provided researchers to compile their data. As we delve further into the mysteries of the universe, my main concern is not that we will have the technology to do so but rather how we make the best use of it. With progress comes huge responsibility. Computers can be used to improve our lives as illustrated above, but they can also be used to explode nuclear bombs, as recent developments demonstrate.

My eyes started to close and I fell asleep with all these thoughts still whirling around in my head. A few hours later I woke up and everything was back to normal. Oh thank God, it was a dream after all! I jumped out of bed and turned on my laptop, all my friends were online and were so worried about me. “Dude, what happened to you?!” they asked. I replied, “I woke up!” I meant that literally, as well as figuratively. At that moment I vowed that any technology that I would use would always be to better the life of man, by exploring this universe, one microchip at a time!

Neelam Melwani
Age: 15