Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Blackberry never tasted so sweet March 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:48 AM
Tags: , , , ,

“TELL ME AGAIN. What is a Blackberry Playbook? What does it do?”

I’ve asked him for the umpteenth second time and he is clearly frustrated with me.

“Never mind,” he says.

I persist because I want to understand. My son knows I am technologically-challenged, that I can’t distinguish a Blackberry from an iPAD or a Kindle. It is all too much for someone who grew up without a telephone during the early years of her life and only within the past 18 months acquired a cell phone. It is all too much for someone who learned to type on a manual typewriter. It is all too much for someone who recently upgraded from her 2003 desktop computer.

I don’t decry technology. I am simply slow to understand the ever-evolving world of high tech gadgets.

But my high school senior, with his scientifically and mathematically-wired brain, embraces technology and is planning a career in computer and/or electrical engineering. It’s a career path that will suit him perfectly, focusing on his passions.

That leads us to his latest endeavor, which ties in with the Blackberry Playbook. My son created Agon, a Blackberry Playbook game app which released March 17. Described as “an abstract strategy game with perfect information,” Agon was invented in France during the late 18th century. I won’t even attempt to explain the game or how my 18-year-old adapted it to the Blackberry. He would tell me, “Never mind,” if I asked. Click here to read for yourself. And feel free to try the game and post a review.

One reviewer compares the game, also known as “Queen’s Guards,” to chess. This does not surprise me. My teen plays chess and enjoys strategic board games like Settlers of Catan and Power Grid. Pull out those games and I run the other way. Give me word games. My boy once tried to teach me chess, but without success.

His success with Agon, though, has netted him a sweet prize—a Blackberry Playbook. Pretty cool, huh? Besides getting the actual product, this accomplishment can be listed on college scholarship applications and eventually on his resume.

Additionally, my son tasted sweet success at the recent Minnesota Science Olympiad, placing second in the astronomy competition. Yes, he knows a lot about the sky, too.  He and a teammate also took sixth in state with their gravity vehicle after coming in first at regionals. Faribault High School, his school, finished 14th overall in state among 33 schools.

Success tastes especially sweet when you’re only eighteen.

NOTE: The creators of Blackberry Playbook and the creator of the Agon app (namely my son) have no idea I wrote this post. I am simply a proud mother sharing my boy’s success. Had I not googled “Blackberry Playbook,” I would be mostly uninformed about this tablet.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “A Blackberry never tasted so sweet”

  1. Lanae Says:

    WOW Caleb WOW

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I agree. WOW. I knew he was working on this project as I saw the drawings and the mathematical equations scratched onto paper. One of his teachers even mentioned this game app project to us during parent-teacher conferences. I told her then that I really didn’t understand what he was doing except making some type of app. You know me and math and computers. We’re not too friendly.

  2. That’s a big deal–you son just created an app! Wow, it’s just so cool!

  3. htrax107 Says:

    I vote for the blackberry wine or maybe brandy. Either would be a good choice. Congratulations to your son – and his mom and dad too. What a great time for techy kids to be alive.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Harriet. Technology offers so many opportunities to today’s young people and my son certainly embraces it with a passion.

  4. Dana@Bungalow'56 Says:

    Very impressive Audrey. You have every reason to be proud.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    I’m very technologically challenged! I can understand your challenges. I lean on every member of my family to help me as they are all very happy to embrace all the new gadgets. The pressure is that as soon as I learn one new gadget, another one is released onto the market place and I’m lost all over again xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, I don’t know what I will do once my son leaves for college. That is the reason I got my new computer months before his departure–so he could set it up and help me learn how to use it.

  6. Good for him!!! Fantastic when they can make the things that they enjoy pay off!!! Congratulations to your son!

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