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There’s an App for That: Over the River and Through the Woods But Always Over a Train Track

Joined: 7/20/2015
Posts: 3
I ordered a pizza. I didn’t place a call. I designed my pizza, placed the order, and watched the progress from receipt of my order to its exit from the oven. All of this was brought to me courtesy of modern technology and an app on my Android phone. Apps are truly beautiful things. From controlling my TV to making a video in which I can make my forty-plus-year-old female voice sound like that of a deranged cat, I can do it all with apps. I can even navigate my way across the state or across the country if I so choose.

MapQuest, oh, how I love thee. This app comes with one condition that is not in any way, shape, or form spelled out for those of us who choose to install it. Railroads. Yes, I said railroads. I have used MapQuest fairly regularly for the last five years when vacationing, finding donut shops (another entire essay), or tracking down the closest GameStop for my teens’ emergencies. One thing rings true each and every stinkin’ time I engage this app. I will, unequivocally, be taken across a railroad track on my journey. I will make two rights turns for every left turn, circle the town square, and wind my way across the tracks no matter the city, its current transportation system or the location of my destination. I will see the tracks.

Nancy (the name I have affectionately given the robotic voice that guides me) has become known in my close circle for guiding us on these little nostalgic ventures. She must read something into my directions. Maybe for every turn I miss due to Nancy’s somewhat knee-jerk manner of giving directions, I am punished with the addition of one more side road added to my directions list. Perhaps MapQuest programmers live by a code. Could it be they are forced to provide the most scenic route? I would be none-the-wiser. I mean, look at me. I am using my phone to find a Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe they take a pledge prior to their first day on the job to “always and forevermore show the good people of our nation the railroad tracks.” I can’t explain this phenomenon any other way.

When the day is done and I have reached my destination, I guess I really don’t care how Nancy does it. I do, thanks to MapQuest, always get there. It has become quite the source of amusement for my outings. Rest assured, from the moment I hit that little green “start” box, it’s T-minus railroad and counting.

by April Brown Pulliam
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your June / July There’s an App for That Essay being selected as our 1st place Adult Essay.

We will be contacting you through your registration email for prize details.

We will post all winning essay results by August 31st. You can check this page for the results after August 31st:

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission to “Change the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs
Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2015 2:21:21 PM
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Parents blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for parents.  It allows people who are raising a family to share stories about the adventure of parenthood in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories about raising a family, or check out the writing contest for parents, quotes about parenthood, parenting etiquette, funny videos about kids, discounts for families, and other resources for raising a family on  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your family, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

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