It became a battle of wills, me against the computer. What seemed futile was not. Three hours later, with a smile on my face, Jason from Microsoft was able to teach me how to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Word. Ha! Little did I know how important knowing how to install and uninstall apps and programs would become with this new generation of computer programs. (Thank you Bill Joy.)
A few days later I spent the most beautiful day of January inside at the MNVoTech learning how to better use Windows 8. Just learning that the first screen that comes up with the cubed tiles is called the Start
|Just read the directions!|
Receiving colored handouts, showing every step we needed to learn, thrilled the teacher in me. Critical reading skills and patience are all one needs to learn from technology directions, and they are not my strengths. Luckily, we earned fresh air breaks every hour and a relaxed lunch time with classmates where four of us casually chatted and shared stories not about grandchildren but about our techie skills. The first breakdown came right after lunch when my new friend Rose sent me a note, "Hellp!" By the 2:00 break my attention span had ceased, and I exploded with laughing frustrations, as did my new friends. The storyteller took over, and I chatted with nearly everyone in the room. We all exchanged personal technology griefs of time lost, worksheets lost, pictures lost, stories lost. My answer to how did that happen or where did it go, "Mayhem did it." For all I learned,I may still have to read the handouts, or do what the instructor said, "Practice what we've done today." There's that word practice. I practice writing, practice golf, practice weed pulling, so I guess he's right. The good news of the day is that I have new friends, Rose and Lynn, who is a massage therapist.
The very next day I practiced personalizing my Windows 8 program by changing backgrounds, moving tiles, setting up touch control, etc. Then came a new Monday and my printer decided not to talk to my computer. I spoke ever so softly to both machines, pleading that off/on, unplug, check plugs, the little tricks would work. NOT. More than six hours later with one hour on the phone to the NPL Virtual Library (free assistance)the two machines still did not communicate, but we knew the problem--I needed a driver/printer update. I called Microsoft again and explained my problem. George said it was an HP problem.
HP said, "There is no printer installed." I said, "There sure as hell is and it is sitting right beside me." Ok, I didn't say that outloud, but I thought it loud enough that I'm sure the techie understood my frustrations. By 8:45 pm on that Monday night I had followed the directions step-by-step to install a new printer program, and add a new device. Like magic the printer shoved out
I don't foresee that I will ever put 10,000 hours into learning computer skills, like Bill Joy and Bill Gates, but at least I can use one with a little more confidence. I wonder if they know how teach thirty children to read; how to play golf; how to pull weeds; or cook a meal for a hungry family?