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Google and Me: Together Forever This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I can distinctly remember, in first grade, teaching myself to write in cursive on a prop-up easel on my porch. I recall a time, in second grade, seated at my kitchen table attempting to learn long division. In third grade I wrote my first research paper, and in fourth I memorized all the countries in North and South America, Africa and Europe. Now, these examples are not meant to convey that I was a super-scholarly child; in fact, it should be known I still can’t do a bunch of the upper-case cursive letters, and it took me until fifth grade to master long division. Instead, these examples are meant to explain an innate part of me that I consider more valuable than any IQ or memorized knowledge: my desire to learn, and a passion for knowledge.

This is an intrinsic quality, running through my blood from the day I was born. And so my love ­affair with Google should be of no surprise. It has been a reliable relationship, steadily growing since middle school. I can still actually remember my first bout of excessive googling. It was the summer of sixth grade, right after I had learned that my family and I would be taking a trip to Boston. I immediately hopped on a computer to learn more. Hours later, I left my over-worked printer with restaurant reviews, phone numbers, ticket prices, hypothetical driving routes and a newfound respect for the search engine. That weekend I was able to sit up front in the car because I was the one with the ­directions. And in that somewhat trivial act, satisfaction washed over me. The power of knowledge is an unparalleled feeling (even if it is just directions), and Google gave me that power through its endless supply of information.

Google watched me grow up; held my hand through tough concepts, and has been witness to great shifts in intellectual interest. Every day I grow into more of a research-freak. And with the loyal support of Google, my geeky love for facts and ­statistics leak out.

I spent the months of 2011 filling out a homemade chart of the eight potential GOP nominees and their positions on 19 national issues, (a chart that, yes, did contain direct quotes from the candidates themselves.) As excessive as something like this might sound, to me it was so completely necessary. I wanted to understand. I needed reason and validation to back up my political opinions.

I feel fortunate to live in a time where such vast amounts of information is – literally – at the tips of my fingers. I hope to one day make my contribution. The high esteem I hold for my beloved Google – and my love for learning, in general – is an integral part of who I am. I’m proud to embrace my inner geek and exclaim to the world: I love googling!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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