Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

My mother wanted me to be a doctor…

In Random on July 12, 2014 at 11:09 pm


During my first semester as a freshman year at RIT, in 1982, I had a work-study job in the library, long before I got my job as a computer center lab assistant.  One day, walking down the “quarter-mile”, the raised path from the dorms to the academic side of campus, one of my library co-workers was walking in the opposite direction and waved me down.  “You look like a doctor!” she exclaimed.  I laughed because my mother always wanted me to be a doctor.  Unfortunately for her, I was fascinatedThe last surgery I performed by silicon life forms rather than carbon-based units.  I merely replied, “ha!”

She protested, “No really you do.  How would you like to do a photo shoot as a doctor.”  I’ll note here that RIT was in Rochester, near Kodak, and RIT had a huge photography program.  I said, “Sounds fun.”  So she later sent me an email with all the particulars.

So on a saturday morning I showed up in the Art building, went to a particular studio which was set up as an operating room.  Lots of cameras, sensors and whatnot.  Anyway, I went into a bathroom and changed into the scrubs they provided and this was one of the several pictures taken that day.

Later that academic year in May 1983, my parents drove up to Rochester to pick me up and bring me back to Bridgeport for the summer.  I saw their car pull into the Sol Heumann parking lot from my perch in the 7th floor balcony overlooking it.  I bounded down the stairs and met them and before greeting them with the typical hugging and whatnot, I handed the picture to my mother and said, “Okay Ma, you got your wish. I became a doctor.” She laughed pretty hard about it.

This picture hangs on my mother’s living room wall next to all the other photographs of her children and grandchildren.  Some of those photos are candid, some are action or event like graduations and confirmations, others are portraits.  This is the oddball.

The particular device we were operating on was a DEC GIGI terminal.  It was a computer that could act as an ansi keyboard for a display OR as a Basic computer, depending on what mode you put it in.

Funny people we were back then…