Why Ms Eleven should be allowed to get a Netbook

Our elder daughter presented us with this essay. I’ve used her blog-name rather than her given name throughout, so one or two sentences sound a little odd, but other than that, I have not changed her work at all. What do you think? Opinions please.

A Netbook is a small laptop with a screen that is about 10 inches across. They have most of the same tools as a laptop. Ms Eleven is a girl of 11 (soon to be 12) years of age, who wants a Netbook for a present. There are four reasons for Ms Eleven receiving a Netbook.

The first reason for Ms Eleven getting a Netbook is that it would help her keep in contact with her friends in Australia. Ms Eleven will miss her friends a lot and having a Net book would help her keep in contact with them. Ms Eleven would also be able to use Skype instead of calling her friends, and so decreasing the family phone bill.

The second reason for Ms Eleven getting a Netbook is that it would free up the computer for parents and siblings. The main computer in Ms Eleven’s household is used for parents’ email, parents’ Tetris, mother’s blogs, children’s email, children’s games, parents’ work, children’s work, and children’s expositions about getting a Netbook. Because of all these different things the computer is used for, the main computer is very hard to get access to. If Ms Eleven had a Netbook, she could use that instead, and it would make it easier for parents and siblings to get to the computer.

The third reason for Ms Eleven getting a Netbook is that she could learn more about I.T. Ms Eleven is close to going to high school, and computers are used often for homework and schoolwork. After high school, is university and/or an apprenticeship. Then a job. All these use computers, so Ms Eleven will find it easier if she already had some past experience with computers. If Ms Eleven had a Netbook she would get to set it up, organise it, transfer information, practise touch-typing, and learn how to use it. Knowing how to do these would be a great life skill, and Ms Eleven can only acquire them if she got a Netbook.

The fourth reason for Ms Eleven getting a Netbook is that it will help with her schoolwork. If Ms Eleven got a Netbook she would be able to research and do assignments more easily. Ms Eleven would learn so much more from school if she wasn’t stressed about having a computer to do her homework on. She would get better marks and better reports, so getting her a Netbook is a great idea.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that Ms Eleven should receive a Netbook for a present because it will help her keep in contact with her friends, free up the computer for parents and siblings, advance Ms Eleven’s I.T. skills, and help her with her schoolwork.


40 responses to “Why Ms Eleven should be allowed to get a Netbook

  1. brilliant… we have 2 laptops and a pc here so the girls have computer access most of the time if they want it, my laptop is currently being used to watch Roary by mr O, Hubby uses his laptop for his PhD study and surfing, and we have the main pc for tv/surfing and photo storage… shes given some valid points that do make sense… what school are you sending her to over here?

  2. I note that Miss 11 will not be sharing the netbook with the younger siblings and parents so reason two may be a little defunct.

  3. The school she attends will be a factor, software? Then, PC or Apple? Then the fact that netbooks really don’t last…iPad? Then there’s the home network, which in my case has to carry various devices for varying user’s uses.
    Then there’s TV, chat, torrenting, ripping an other ethical concerns.
    My choice = Mac PowerBook for home for me and a dumbphone; at work I have enough tech to cause global warming – Miss 11 on the otherhand (and I live with one now) may differ on her needs set.
    Also in the bad old days it was about the software you wanted to run, now it’s all about The Cloud.

  4. I find it extremely well reasoned. The next step would be to anticipate objections and address them in her arguments, but that’s just quibbling. For an eleven year old this is top notch!

  5. What an amazingly persuasive and articulate argument! Can she be in my class of first year university students, because she would leave them in the dust (I am extremely serious about that!)

  6. Taking into account all these people’s excellent points, especially the ones about built-in obsolescence and school-compatible software (though she can run Windows on a Mac), and adding the caveat that it will set a precedent (are you going to be able to afford one each for the Misses Eight when they turn eleven, plus the new one that Miss Eleven will need by then?), I vote Yes.

    On the condition that, every time there is some sort of family problem, decision or dilemma, she’s the one who has to write the SWOT analysis.

  7. Machiavelli rides again! She sounds just like Dearest Daughter (now 42) at the same age – but Netbooks were not an issue in them dim, dark times.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

  8. Honey, get her what she wants. If she can be this articulate, reasoned, and forward thinking at 11, she could well be our PM in not too many years to come. She deserves it! (Notwithstanding the other Ms Eleven’s need for something equally expensive to make up for her sibling’s really very sophisticated taste in pressies).

  9. I think you might be thinking of the Misses Nine (formerly the Misses Eight), who have already pointed out that they will need some sort of ‘compensation’ for being moved to New Zealand if Ms Eleven gets her own computer. They’ve suggested that iPods would be suitable.

  10. Wow, she’s done a great job. If you can afford to open up the window to compelling argument = major purchase, then I say go for it (aside from possible technical problems that I know nothing about). Was it her idea to write an essay? I love it. And I love that she included writing her exposition on getting a Netbook as one of the many demands on your home computer.

    Are you going to start getting essays on why unsupervised sleepovers (or whatever else 11-year-olds might want these days) are essential to her development and well-being?

  11. Very cute… you need to teach her how to do a return on investment calculation though! 😀

  12. My son got his own computer for his 4th birthday, but it’s a desktop (and a cast off from us). I love the essay, it’s fab, but I’d be considering what sort of computer hardware works best for the whole family.

    I’m more of a fan of tethered computers for kids, but then I don’t have an 11yr old.

  13. Having initially been introduced to them as the Misses Eight, I keep forgetting that they’ve changed their names …

  14. I have submitted this to Ms 15, a recipient of an EEE701 a couple of years ago, for her review and comment.

  15. I am Ms Fifteen and I urge caution for Ms Eleven’s request.
    For Christmas one year I was gifted with a very fine Eee PC when I was at a similar age, which I like very much and use a lot on the holidays. However, The keyboard is very small so touch typing is difficult. And while I do use it, I always prefer the desktop computer. It has a larger screen, larger keyboard and a proper mouse which is far superior for homework. I hate using mine for homework, though it is good for skype. My model is now quite out of date, Ms Eleven should be cautioned that her netbook will be very passe by the time she reaches my age.
    Also, (this is slightly unrelated) my school ordered that every student must have a netbook for schoolwork, justified by many of Ms Eleven’s reasons. They went from the coolest thing ever to the biggest rip-off. These school netbooks were filled with restrictions so that one could not load new programs, access task manager, so on and so forth with major suspensions for anyone who successfully hacked it. Thus, the people who actually learnt to use it were punished. They are small laptops but bulky in comparison to normal old books so only a very few take them to class. Mine is rotting away on my bedroom floor.
    Now whenever I want to use the desktop, my mum can argue that I have two other computers that I could use. So I sit and wait to use it because it’s better than using either of the other computers for homework.
    Then again when you are eleven, havin’ ur own laptop is, like, theee coolest thing eva.

  16. Ooops, apologies Misses 9 and Ms Eleven. My original comment still stands though. She’s a clever girl, and clever girls should get their rewards. And also? It gives you a fantastic comeback later. When she’s a whinging whineing fully fledged teenager, you can always remind her of what very reasonable parents you actually are.

  17. Personally I think I would buy an iPad for my kids if I had my time again BUT if only notebook will do have you considered an ex-lease MacBook? We have them coming up every year at my school and the last lot sold for $250 each! They have been worth their weight in gold around our house …

  18. Thanks to the people who have said that I should get one!

  19. An upgradable laptop may be better in terms of size of screen and keyboard as pointed out by Ms 15. Second hand may be an option if price is a concern. Mainly because I wish I was that articulate at 11, or indeed now, I’d say yes buy her one and the Misses 9 Ipods – but I’d want their reasons in writing too!

  20. Marvellous stuff. I’ll bet Miss(Ms)11 is a killer debater, and I wish I’d met her. My vote is to get her one, but if it turns out to not be exactly what she imagines it will be (as Ms 15 so neatly explains), she will have to live with it. No whingeing!

  21. Oh, and yes to the ipods. I bought my older granddaughter one when she turned 10 and she loves it. I’m planning to buy the younger one another next year.

  22. I don’t know about ipods so young. If they spend a reasonable amount of family time, then fine. But if they are likely to ensconse themselves with just their ear music for company, I’m not sure about it.

  23. I would have written: “Thank you for your concern. You have been placed in a queue and we will respond to your query as soon as possible….”

  24. Just read it aloud to my eldest who nodded very earnestly and said, ‘She’s good.’ He believes she needs a netbook. He also said, ‘oh that mum doesn’t play wordtwist’.

    (ps, my lads both have mp3 players, and youngest was just upgraded to an ipod for his birthday – he just loves music, so he really appreciates it whereas eldest is a bit meh. They’re also loaded with audiobooks, which are listened to constantly, mostly through external speakers)

  25. As long as she’s not going to spend all her spare time googling the Twilight cast then I don’t see a problem at all.

  26. The essay is great! Very persuasive. I think the third reason is a little weak because she can gain computer skills on the family computer and computers at school, but she makes a good point about setting up and organizing a new computer on her own. For me, the only consideration remaining would be whether to get a netbook or a full-fledged laptop. A laptop is bigger, more flexible and will last longer before becoming obsolete. Also you can attach a real mouse if Ms. Eleven ends up not liking the touch pad. I am a devoted Mac fan and they use Macs in the schools here, so my daughter (age 10) has her own MacBook, which she loves.

  27. I got a cricket bat, a book and some talcum powder for my 11th birthday.
    This generation sure has upped the ante.

  28. I have a netbook – at considerably older than 11 – and I always plug a little optical mouse in for my comfort and companionship.

    She makes a great case. I would get her one, or subsidize heavily, under a caveat emptor provision.

  29. Tell Ms Eleven that when my son and daughter were about her age, their computer was a mingy little green screened thing-a-ma-jig from Tandy, and data was stored on a, wait for it, wait for it, cassette recorder. Games were not much of an issue, just one, graphics consisting of a few lines and a DOT, that purported to be TENNIS.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

  30. I knew I could rely on my readers for helpful advice. Thank you, everyone. Special thanks for the voice of experience from Ms Fifteen. And thank you also to the people who contacted me off-blog with advice to pass on to Ms Eleven.

    I think she’s made her case very successfully, and we’ll be doing something about this sooner or later. Right now we are in the throes of getting our house onto the market, but hopefully it will all go well. With a bit of luck, in six weeks or so we should be in a position to turn our mind to sorting out exactly what Ms Eleven should get.

  31. I’m completely convinced that on the basis of the arguments presented in this well-structured and persuasive piece of writing Ms Eleven should definitely be given her very own proper laptop.

    A room of one’s own is no longer enough, our daughters also need a portable writing device of one’s own.

    What a clever girl!

    If this clever girl were my daughter I would ask her to share

  32. Sorry, sent too soon. I was going to add:

    … If this clever girl were my daughter I would ask her to share the laptop with her younger sister, when she is not too busy using it.

  33. Certainly a very persuasive essay! Our extravagance in this house (besides books) is computers, so I certainly think a personal computer for all is great. However, having used our netbook for serious writing when we were out of our house recently, the screen is frustratingly small. I’m inclined to agree with Ms 15 on that one.

  34. Netbook with Linux instead of windows installed – she’ll definitely get the “learning about IT” part! Also makes it easier to learn about how the software side of computers works having access to all the source code.

    And to repeat what others have said – A very well written essay!

  35. What a wonderful argument – I agree that if she is this articulate at 11 (even using ‘exposition’ correctly), then she can be anything she wants – PM, or a successful lawyer, or a scientist who convinces granting agencies to buy whatever she needs in the lab.

    I only have one counter-argument – she has made a very good case for a computer-of-some-type, but none specifically for a netbook.

    However, I must congratulate her mother (and father). Obviously, they have done a very good job with the upbringing.

    And we all know, don’t we, that whatever decision is made, MOTHERS ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.


  36. There’s another teachable moment in this – if the netbook is so advantageous to her in her education, what happens to kids whose parents can’t afford netbooks?

  37. iPods in this part of the world aren’t volume limited, and so it’s very easy for children to damage their hearing inadvertently. That has to be a consideration – it might be worth finding one that is.

  38. What a fabulously articulate kid. It’s so hard to resist them when they’re so persuasive. Eaglet No. 1 has a similar skill. I wonder when I’m going to receive a similar missive???

    Good luck with the move and selling the house. I hope it goes well.

  39. It’s reasonably well argued for her age, if a bit precious (in the ‘deliberately too clever by half’ sense). If you can easily afford to get her a netbook, I can’t see any reason not to. If you can’t – hey, if she’s so bright, why can’t she suss out a way to earn one for herself?

    As a card-carrying member of the Dead Tree Generation, I really, really, really wanted a guitar when I was eleven. So I did everything I could to earn the price of the one I wanted – washing doorsteps, taking in ironing, mowing lawns with a grown-up’s push mower, and so on – and managed to earn every necessary penny. That guitar, and those that came after it, earned me a very good living for the next forty years. There’s a lot to be said for making one’s own way!