Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monster on the Desk

At the dawn of the new millennium, as the Red Hat Society was taking off like a rocket, many of us were less than enthusiastic about learning to use computers; we were slow to see the absolute necessity for doing so.  But learn we did.  Some of us have mastered only the fundamentals; others now qualify as true “techies.”  

I can vividly recall the pain of struggling through the learning process.  In the book The Red Hat Society: Fun and Friendship After Fifty” I summarized my initial attitude with a silly poem (with apologies to Dr. Seuss for using his famous “Green Eggs and Ham”) as my format:

“The Monster on the Desk"

I will not learn to use that thing.
I won’t admit that it is king.
I will not force myself to learn
And from my pen and paper turn.
I do not like computers, sir!
I do not like them, I aver!
I will not use them on a table.
I’m telling you, I am not able!
I will not deign to press those keys,
Not even if you pay me fees!
I do not want to use that thing,
Not even for a diamond ring!
I’d really rather have a spinal.
And this decision must be final!”

Inevitably, most of us experienced an attitude adjustment.  It’s a good thing we did, as it’s hard to imagine any way the RHS could have grown and maintained cohesion apart from the internet.  Of course things are changing so fast that technology advances daily and some of us continue to feel the pain of trying to keep up.  Generally speaking, I don’t think that most of our children and/or grandchildren tend to be all that patient with us, thinking that we should instantly be able to master their new gizmo (that was invented yesterday afternoon).  That makes us feel inadequate and “slow,” not a good feeling.  I doubt that I’m the only one who has wilted under the disdainful gaze of a seven-year-old whose eyes betray pity and dismay at my woeful ignorance.  How do you correct a child who feels sorry for you?  If you know, please tell me.

from Friday Broadcast 07/10/2015 Sue Ellen Cooper

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