Sunday, September 17, 2006

And the Winner Is...

I know, I was supposed to do this yesterday but I wasn’t home.  Diva had soccer and a campout and Supernerd had a birthday party.  But that wasn’t what kept me from the computer….

My mother is learning email (insert loud, terrified screaming here).

I’m not a teacher, at least not for computer stuff.  My mother is completely computer illiterate.  She’s educated, but she comes from a time where computers weren’t the norm.  I, on the other hand, have been using computers for far longer than I’d care to recall.  I learned BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80 when I was in high school.  And I’ve been on them ever since.  

My folks have a cable modem and my mom bought herself a laptop last Thanksgiving.  It’s a nice little Vaio with a built in wireless card.  So all they needed was a router and I could get her set up.  I bought them a router and set it up on Friday and began an email lesson.

Oh boy.

Its really hard trying to pull myself down to the level she is at.  If you’ve been working on computers for a long time, it feels like riding a bike.  You can sit at any computer and figure out the basic workings, go to an email program and figure out how to run it.  But my mom has none of this experience and technology is a frightening thing.  Technology changes constantly and I think it is very daunting for some.  I was lucky to be part of a generation which grew up with rapid change, I’m used to it.  But my mom…well, she’s very intimidated.  I sat down with her Friday and started showing her how to work email, trying hard not to skip steps and go too fast.

I thought we did pretty good.  Yesterday, I took Diva to Target to pick up some last minute campout supplies.  When I got home, the answering machine was blinking.  When I reached over to play the messages, my husband warned me not to.  Sigh….my mother.

I spent a big chunk of the afternoon trying to explain things, making a conscious effort not to use lingo or assume things like double clicking or how to exit out of a program.  The second call I got from her I could hear hysteria in her voice, the threat of tears.  So I started over.  The toughest part is making her understand the only way she can learn and improve is practice and experimentation.  No one is going to think she is an idiot if she messes up.  It is to be expected.  I got her back on track and she successfully did what she wanted.  I’m hoping that gives her encouragement.  But it did make me appreciate teachers, computers and the wonders of things like email which I take for granted.

Anyway….the winner is Teresa.  Email me your snail addy and I’ll have you smelling like paradise by next weekend.

OH  Big Congrats to Michelle Willingham on her first sale!  Woo Hooo!!!

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