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Kids These Days

Today my freshmen are in the computer lab working on an essay.  I always get a steady litany of complaints and problems on days like this. Today, they include:

--"This mouse doesn't work, and neither does the keyboard!"  Follow the cords. Are the mouse and keyboard plugged in?  No?  What do you think you could do to solve this problem?

--"This keyboard is too small. It's hard to type."  (I'm not kidding--a kid actually said this.)  All the keyboards are the same size, buddy.  "No. This one is small.  Can I switch?"  If you want. Keep in mind you'll lose between five and ten minutes doing that, and the assignment is still due at the end of the hour--and you'll still have a small keyboard.

--[points to a computer screen filled with long lines of text, each followed by super-short lines] "Why is it doing this?  Can you fix it?"  Uh . . . have you seriously been hitting ENTER at the end of every line instead of letting the computer wrap the line around? "Yeah.  What else are you supposed to do?"  How long have you been using a computer, kid?

--"What font is this supposed to be?" "How do I change the font?"  "Where is the font?"  The directions are right there on the sheet I handed out to you.  If you ask me that again, I'm going to open the trap door to the crocodiles.

--"This computer won't turn on."  We're twenty minutes into lab time. How long have you been sitting in front of a dead computer?  "Twenty minutes."  What do you think you can do to solve this problem in a roomful of computers?  "Uh . . . move to a different computer?"  Very good.  If you had thought of that twenty minutes ago, you wouldn't have homework tonight.

--[Kid presses the CAPS LOCK key, capitalizes a single letter, shuts off the CAPS LOCK, and continues typing.  When he comes to a proper noun, he presses the CAPS LOCK key, capitalizes a single letter, shuts off the CAPS LOCK, and continues typing.]  Uh . . . have you ever tried holding down the SHIFT key to capitalize a letter?  "Yeah, but it takes too long."

I spend more time teaching computer skills than I do writing.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
delkytlar
Oct. 17th, 2016 05:33 pm (UTC)
"Uh . . . have you seriously been hitting ENTER at the end of every line..."

Well, that's how Mrs. Pierson taught me how to type in high school. 1982, the last year anyone on earth probably used a typewriter.

Why don't computers ding when you get to the end of the line?
spiziks
Oct. 18th, 2016 08:57 pm (UTC)
Lord.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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