03 May, 2011

progress comes slowly

...and sometimes with people running in front of it, screaming no! no! I hate this! instead of turning the hell around and just, you know, dealing with it. Progress is not the zombie horde. Or maybe it is. Turn around, check your ammo, and start shooting. 

I know it seems counterintuitive to run forward from progress, but that is exactly what my parents --mostly mom--are and have been doing with the whole online-internet thing. You know. That thing that's been going on for what, 20 years? Yes. Well. Mom and Dad acquired internet at their house in the past two months. (Dad had to; the church communicates through email, and he's a deacon or something that he wasn't when I was growing up but has become since his conversion and resolution to be more Catholic than the Pope). Not that Dad checks his email more than once or twice a week, but baby steps, people!

And then there's Mom. Oolala. On my recommendation, they got her an iPad (she fears my father's laptop, and all she wants is something to 'check email and maybe surf', so that seemed like a good choice. Also, big buttons! Bright screen! Not scary!). She's played with it three times, counting today, in the past month. And today was a landmark: we learned how to check Gmail from the browser. I think we also learned the word 'browser,' and maybe 'email client,' too. I talked her through it from California. ("Aitch-tee-tee-pee--H as in horse. T as in tiger. Right. Horse-tiger-tiger-pony...) She was poking at the screen and Dad was in the background, helping, which is really the one-eyed helping the blind. But we did it! She found my email from 4/19 in the spam folder, which is where I reckoned it had gone, and then she viewed the attachment (and oh, that was a fun conversation. Dad telling her 'see the paperclip? Click on it!' and her going 'I AM clicking! It's just not working!' and I was glad to be 1500 miles away). She even sent a reply. She added my address to her contacts list, and wrote down all the steps so she can do it with my cousins in Germany, too.

I tell you, this is momentous.

She complained the whole time of course. Hates this damn thing, stupid internet, this is hard, etc. But she did it! I am so proud.  I'm good at teaching hostile beginners.

I'm just good at teaching, really, which is why the burnout with the Not Student part of my job is so wretched. Because it's exactly the Not Student part that will contribute to me walking away in the semi-near future. I feel like a high-ranking rogue in DA. I can see the traps on the floor, I can disarm or avoid them, but ugh! There are traps! I have to watch every damn step I take. Still--I need this job next year (gods know where we will live, or what Nous will be doing for a paycheck, but at least I will have employment), and so I will step carefully and watch my back.

I'm going to teach zombies again, but I'm shaking up the syllabus. Goodbye, World War Z. I have read enough essays about you. DotD can stay because you cannot teach zombies without Romero, as can 28DL and SotD, but we need some fresh corpses for the pile. I'm thinking the Walking Dead comic, paired with the first episode. Maybe the Simpson's 28DL parody, too. I might even try to teach a video game--but Left for Dead and LfD2 are kinda pricey, if I am making them buy a graphic novel, too. My boss thinks zombie apps for the smartphones are the Best Things Ever, but I am unconvinced. Real game, or no game. That is my rule.

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