Eating My Words

I’m thinking, “Can’t live with them – can’t live without them,” never applied better than with computers. I remember the day I declared that I was glad I taught second grade and would never have to learn to use them. Ha! Five years later my principal “selected” me to go on an excursion to see how another school was using computers with second graders! Truthfully, I must say counting money and telling time became much easier to teach when the follow up to the lesson was free time for students on the computer with games that went “ka-ching” for right answers.

Trying to remember when the real breakdown obsession for a personal computer came, I think it must have been when I purchased my first one and discovered that a very poor typist like me could correct mistakes with the backspace and keyboard without filling a page with Wite-Out. Not only that, but the machine would save as many copies as I wanted so I could choose the writing I liked best. The learning curve was steep with coaching that had to be dragged out of a son and son-in-law who kept saying, “Just learn what you need to know today. You don’t have to know it all.”

I’ve thought about this history over the last month when the bane of my existence has been a two-year-old PC that refused to upload updates and a computer geek telling me what drastic things could happen to all my files if updates weren’t in place. The kind of panic I’ve felt over losing those files and my fruitless automatic trip to turn on the computer first thing every morning have made me aware that I’ve come from never having to learn to use a computer to being dependent on it. Skipping a long and sad saga with geeks who could discipline that machine no more than I, (neither time-out nor corporal punishment helped), I did the next thing I had long been advised to do and bought a MacPro.

Would you believe that stubborn two-year-old PC would not talk to the MacPro to transfer files? Using the Migration Assistant exactly by the instructions, the PC screen said it was looking for the MacPro while the MacPro screen said it was looking for the PC. I said, “I can help you with that. You are staring at each other from three feet away.” The Apple geek figured a way around their blindness, noting as she worked, “You have a lot of files.” Well, yeah, and now I have them back. (They are also saved in the cloud!)

Everybody said, “Get an Apple. You’re going to love it!” Well, perhaps, but not yet. I’m back to yet another learning curve, and I’m eating my “never-learning-to-use-a-computer” words for breakfast.