My job as a teacher librarian is all about finding and sharing information. My vocation is not lost on my friends: I have helped them find the latest, greatest, newest information about whatever topic they needed.
Jennine and I were definitely information buddies and the internet was our friend. Need to know something? Google it! Search it online! Be sure to use good search terms!
Throughout her homeschooling her children, Jennine used the internet to find great curriculum connections, lessons, and activities, I shared links to sites and videos that she could review and possibly use with her kids.
But once her children went back to public school, Jennine decided she wanted to work with other folks' kids, especially babies. So when she decided to put herself out there as a nanny, she used the site Care.com to create an account. Then we became internet detectives, searching for more information about the possible employers she might have.
Jennine would give me a name, and five minutes later, I would give her as much information as I could find about her postential employer. Non-private Facebook page? Found it! Street address through county property site? Found it! Speeding ticket? Found it!
We used our skills for good, making sure that Jennine would have the best nanny situation with her new employers and babies.
But as her illness progressed and she was diagnosed a second time and then a third time, Jennine and I became internet doctors, reading and deciphering (usually asking our medical professional neighbors) the multisyllabic conditions that we found, the symptoms that seemed to fit this or that disease, and the possible prognosis for these illnesses. Sometimes these were late night conversations, sometimes they were lengthy texts with links, and sometimes these were quiet moments sitting in our cul-de-sac.
Knowledge is powerful and having the right information to inform decisions is important. Jennine understood this, and she used the internet to build her knowledge and understanding of the diseases that ultimately took her power.