Hi, Jenny here. I’m a retired Marine and, after 30 years in the Corps and three years as a scum-sucking contractor, I decided to do a 180 and create a Bed and Breakfast in Falmouth, Virginia. Then in December 2019, right before we could all spell COVID, I closed the B&B after almost 8 years because I realized my brain still worked after a semester at UMW. The B&B had been an awesome experience from ’12-’16 because of the internet. I was exhausted with all the business I was getting! Then things started slowing down because of the internet, as AirBnB took hold and small, legit B&B businesses lost their value proposition. What’s that mean? We lost our profit margin—there was no reason to stay in business. Then there’s also the unfair trade practices of Google, Expedia and Booking.com. The internet has grown up and everyone is on the take: they want their 2 cents x 100 billion transactions, but have gotten their pennies surreptitiously.
I’m happy now to be a student on the GI Bill, taking all those courses I couldn’t take last time I was working on a degree (long ago and far, far away). Digital Storytelling is certainly one of them! The last computer class I took was with punch cards (think 1970s). If you dropped the deck of cards, you were toast as they spewed all over the floor. Rubber bands saved hours of hard work, keeping each statement of code on each card in order. That programming class was my last one when I realized that computers were so stupid that you had to define “a.” I gave up on any career in programming. That said, I could argue that in the Corps, I managed the development of one of the first intranet, then internet websites as a Marine Public Affairs officer. That’s when we were working with dial-up service over hard-wire phones. You want legendary? I have stories! Only one issue—I never punched the keyboard. I only hovered over the good Corporal who was punching the keyboard and made the magic happen. So, this class will have me vexed at some point and I’ll come crawling. Back then, I was up in the clouds working on the broad-brush strokes like best business practices, ethics, access issues, connectivity across federal agencies, high side, open source, standards and all that gobbledy goop before there was a cloud!
But wait, there’s more!