RIP, Steve Jobs—”Think Different.”

Since we first started incorporating computers into the fabric of The Field School, we have been an Apple kind of place.  Dale Johnson, now our head of school, built our first network at the old Wyoming Avenue campus, and many of the older teachers here will recall using Apple IIs and then the original Macintosh desktop at Field.

With yesterday’s passing of Apple’s Steve Jobs, several of us have been remembering Field’s use of Apple computers back when the company was not seen as such a dominating presence in the market.  Dale recalls: “Those were darker days for Apple.  It was constantly dismissed as irrelevant and seemed on the verge of elimination.  I often felt like Joe Peacock (the tech director who succeeded me) and I were constantly fending off parents—and some students and teachers—to abandon Apple and go the way of the PC.”

Jobs was actually fired from Apple in 1985, and did not return until 1997-98, after his founding of the NeXT computer company.  At the time he returned, Apple launched a bold marketing campaign that Dale recalls quite well: “Think Different.”  Dale says, “Call it marketing or what have you, but it worked as far as we were concerned, and it meshed so well with how we felt about Field, about founder Elizabeth Ely, and about the colleagues we worked with every day.  I hope in some sense we all still feel this way about our school.”

Here is a version of that ad, narrated by Steve Jobs himself.  It seems like a continued encouragement of Field students today, voicing how we feel about what goes on in our classrooms regularly.

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About The Field School

The Field School is an independent school for grades 6-12 located at 2301 Foxhall Rd, NW, Washington DC.
This entry was posted in History of Field, Teaching, The Field Community, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to RIP, Steve Jobs—”Think Different.”

  1. The first time I actually ever saw a Mac was when Chris Lorrain was using one in the office of 2126 Wyoming Avenue. He was drawing something, using the mouse to go pixel by pixel. He may have been sporting civil war style mutton chops. I was more impressed by the computer than the facial hair, at the time anyway

  2. chrisosmond says:

    I loved the Field Macs, especially the gi-normous ones we ended up using around 98-99 that were like R2D2 on your desk. When I left Field for the rest of the (PC) world it took forever to learn to look the right for all those windows resize buttons. It just wasn’t natural. Some of us saw our first email on one, at Field. It changed everything.

    While we’re on the subject of ad campaigns that told Field’s story: when I was assistant cross-country coach I gave Addison a Nike poster that said, “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.” He had it framed in his office for a while. Summed up why I loved running, and especially running at Field,. With, among others…Dale!

    I blogged on Jobs and the schools that produced him this week (chrisosmond.com). Very Field-y thoughts about curriculum I still have, daily, that some might enjoy. Shine On You Crazy Falcons!

  3. noahguthman says:

    The version you have posted above is narrated by Richard Dreyfus. Here’s the version with Steve narrating it – I personally think his voice fits much better.

  4. Chris Lorrain says:

    Wait a minute… I thought Al Gore invented the internet, not Dale! Wow!
    Apple IIs, Apple IIes, the first Macs, the clamshell Macs with different colored ‘bodies’… floppy disks [though they were in fact hard…]… Field and Apple – hand in hand!

  5. Paul Gilbert says:

    I was at Field from 79 – 83. I remember some clunky terminal and a modem that you set an old telephone into. At that time (79-80) very few kids were interested in computers. They we got a bunch of Apple II, and a few other brands that are no longer with us. The result was an explosion of interest in computers. I remember writing Basic programs on an Apple II at Field as my first computer experience.

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