This morning my profoundly immoral pre-historic spawn of technology forgot to tortuously awaken me to a lovely September day in the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci; yes that nefarious base model Nokia deliberately set out to erroneously function causing me to arrive almost two hours late for work!

Don’t worry, my boss didn’t buy it either, but who wants to take the blame for failing to correctly set an alarm? For the record, I still blame the phone!

So here I am five hours later, heavily caffeinated and sitting in front of my laptop, thinking of what to write as a first blog entry for SPS’ new website, or ever for that matter. I suppose you’ve already surmised, aside from my passionate dislike of early morning wake-up sirens, that I live in Florence, Italy. I moved here from New York City in 2008, about the same time Lehman Brothers went the way of the Roman Empire. A year later I enrolled in SPS so that I could finish my degree more quickly while living abroad instead of losing half my credits by transferring to the local University.

In Italy, there is an old saying that goes “non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca” – translation: You can’t have a full wine cask and a drunk wife [at the same time]. Basically, you can’t have your cake and eat it too; I like the Italian version better. Well, I think I’ve found a way around that ancient wisdom thanks to technology, which is not always dastardly, and I’ve now got both the full wine cask (living in Italy) and the drunk wife (finishing my degree with CUNY)!

Speaking of technology, after my dash to the bus this morning I happened to sit next to an elderly woman who was toying with her base model Nokia and desperately pressing buttons in search of some hidden truth. After I sat down she asked me if I could show her how to find the list of calls received. Despite my previous failure at setting an alarm, I succeeded. Reveling in my triumph of ancient technology, I was reminded of last semester’s e-commerce class where we discussed all the latest technological marvels in the world today and I seemed to be the only one with a phone from the technological dark ages; my friends in New York used to tell me that I ought to put it into a museum. Well maybe they were right, perhaps I ought to start toting about one of those smart phones. After all, a smart phone would never malfunction would it?

Notwithstanding my affinity towards simple cell phones, technology and the Internet have become a bigger part of my life since enrolling in the online program at SPS. My COM class from last semester together with the lack of a local school library helped me get a good grasp on Boolean searches and other information seeking techniques when researching. This kind of self-prodding online research has helped me to discover a wealth of information about technology, investments, accounting, business, Internet and E-commerce that I otherwise may not have unearthed. More importantly, it’s also helped me maintain a good GPA.

Online studying is a good experience to have if you can manage your time and keep that demon on your shoulder from convincing you to check your Facebook account every time you get the studying blues. While I do miss the personal touch of a real classroom, studying at SPS has been a rich and interesting experience so far and I tend to think that I may actually be learning more with the forced necessity of finding information from credible sources via the World Wide Web; perhaps technology does suit me after all.

To all those who read this, I hope my first attempt at a blog post hasn’t bored you out of your mind and I wish you luck in your online adventures with CUNY this semester.

Peace, prosperity and properly functioning alarms to all! Arrivederci!

Nina Michael is in her junior year in the BS in Business program at CUNY School of Professional Studies. Nina has been all over the world and loves traveling; she currently  lives between Italy and New York where she works as a professional English teacher and translator. She loves languages, food, coffee, wine and a good book; she is also a first-rate bartender.

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