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Melissa Davis is a goofy, geeky, multimedia Mom on a Mac mothering others on Macs and other iThings. TheMacMommy is a personal information technology consultant supporting Apple Mac and iOS users who need a helping hand. Melissa specializes in on-site and remote training, troubleshooting, tips and tricks. Using and reviewing apps and gadgets is one of many ways she is able to help consumers personalize their experience to create efficient and comfortable workflows that suit their needs. Melissa has been teaching adults and children how to use the Mac, related software, internet, and other devices since the 1990s. It is fair to say she's been TheMacMommy for longer than she’s been a mother! Melissa holds a BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and lives in Tucson, Arizona with her geeky husband and two geeky boys. She considers her family and future Made On a Mac.
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Short Attention Span Version
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For Those About to Scroll, I Salute You
I am a 40-something SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and, like so many others out there, I am trying to carve out my own little niche in life and do something fulfilling with my time here on Earth and online. I would also like to leave something of interest behind for my children in case they ever want to know more about me when they’re old enough. If I ever come down with a mean case of amnesia, this will all come in very handy to me.
I live in Tucson, AZ and I am originally from southeast PA. I am the eldest of four. My husband and I have been happily married since 2004. We have the same birthday which is 3 days after Christmas. We met online in a chat room. My husband is a high school physics teacher and we have two beautiful sons together. We also have a Maltipoo dog named Opal. For all of this, I feel very lucky and blessed.
At this point in my life, I am enjoying being a wife and mother. That is now and will always be my top priority. I am also a loyal friend and family member and try my best to keep close and in touch while the physical distance is great. Most of my friends and family still live back east. I try to visit during the summers and as much as possible. I would not be able to live so far away were it not for the technology in which I surround myself.
I am a Mac fanatic and have been using Apple Computers since the early 90s. During high school, I attended a vocational technical school and studied Commercial Art. After graduating from high school, I worked as a typesetter and production artist in retail advertising for a number of years and then decided to go back to college to become a designer. In 2000, I got my BFA in Communication Design from Kutztown University. My professional background is in graphic design, advertising, and printing where I’ve also managed prepress. While working in the field, I fell in love with the technical side of things. I love troubleshooting and the reward of fixing a problem or making something more efficient. For many years, people told me that I would make a good teacher because they liked the way I explained things. I finally started listening to them. My new-found specialty is in user experience and human interface design.
Currently, I work from home as an Independent Contractor. I make house calls and provide IT support and training to individual clients for an hourly fee. I am also a blogger and podcaster. I create, produce, and publish content and participate in many online discussions about technology and what it means to me as a parent and educator. In addition to that, I enjoy beta-testing software and writing reviews for compensation. I am skilled at working with children, senior citizens, medical personnel, and educators. I specialize in showing people how to use Macintosh software, multimedia, and social networking applications to facilitate organization, learning, communication and networking on a global level.
Lifelong Lesson Plans
Motherhood is teaching me many things. I don’t know that I am the best student or that I am putting everything into practice, but it is definitely bringing many things into focus. Learning the importance of priorities and putting myself and family first have been one of the most challenging of all lessons to implement.
The choice to become a SAHM has been one of the most difficult decisions and yet one of the most fulfilling. Before that, moving to the other side of the country to pursue a long-distance relationship has also turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done for myself. To get to where I am today, I am no stranger to lessons learned the hard way, suffered setbacks and extremely difficult decisions. I finally feel my sacrifices are beginning to pay off. I really believe that you reap what you sow and that one door closes so another can open.
While I was still pregnant with my son, I was convinced I needed to go back to work full time. I just thought it had to be. I tried for the first eight months after my son was born, but it did not work out. Despite my passion for the job, the pay was just too low and the expectations and burnout too high. We were all miserable and sick much of the time. I was afraid of quitting my job to be a SAHM, not just because of financial strain, but because I thought I was going to lose touch with everything I had worked so hard to obtain. What I’ve learned from this experience is that sometimes you just have to trust in yourself that you’ve made the right investments along the way. It’s really a matter of perspective.
The investment I made which added to my experience in the tech industry was working for a few years as a Macintosh Computer Site Technician at elementary schools (K-5). I managed over 100 Mac computers on a network at each site. I absolutely loved this job before becoming a parent and it was a good job to have for someone starting a family. I felt like a super-hero much of the time. The experience gained at this job was a valuable addition to my skill set. I designed, configured and deployed images for all of the computers and worked with a Novell infrastructure to manage staff and student data. I managed all of the Macs using Apple Remote Desktop, WorkGroup Manager and scripting with support and assistance from the district’s IT department. I taught classes in computer labs and consulted teachers looking for new technology tools to implement into their curriculum to meet benchmarks. Being married to a teacher and working as a site tech gave me a unique perspective on administrative protocols. I always tried to be an advocate for the staff, but that was one of the most difficult parts of the job.
I feel as though I’ve never stopped working; I’ve just stopped punching a clock for someone else’s benefit full time. I now work for myself and my family. I’ve found that I have to work at least part time not only to supplement my husband’s income but I find it intrinsically fulfilling as well. I work part-time contract jobs whenever I have the opportunity so long as my family is my number one priority and we don’t have to use public childcare. Career maintenance is an inherent perk. I currently enjoy providing private computer lessons for senior citizens.
Life keeps me busy rearing my children, consulting, podcasting, producing, or documenting my life as a geeky mom, but I also enjoy: making new friends, keeping in touch with old ones, digital macro-photography, eating dark chocolate, arts and crafts, driving stick-shift, picking things up with my toes, laughing, sculpting, wearing mud masks, candles, nag champa incense, lizards, and the color purple. I love trying out new software and meeting people from all over the world. Thanks for getting to know me.