Mod 4: Muddling Through - Assessment

​Am I the only person in the world of online learning that spends perhaps 3/5 of her time struggling to figure out new programs? If not, it sure feels that way. It's insane! Actually, I was at Trader Joe's yesterday (I know . . . ain't I lucky?) and a friend of mine who works there suggested Googling instructions if I've spent more than half an hour trying to figure something out. And I am going to try that! I'm a big fan of Googling. But I tell you something: I stump Google a lot. Is that something you do? Do you know people who regularly ask Google questions it does not have an answer to?

Well, you do, actually, and it's me! And I regularly stump Help in all these programs, too, although I can imagine that many people do that; "Help" programs so often seem incomplete and not thorough - and not even Helpful! I guess what really bugs me is the illogic I find so often in a profession that is built on logic: if 0, then ?; if 1, then ?.

But not to blame anyone! Really. I have to take responsibility for this pattern myself. And I did that this week. I decided to accept that this is just how I do things on computers; it takes a lot of t-i-i-i-i-m-e. And that's just the way it is. I come up stumped a lot; that's just how it works for me (or doesn't work at the time!). Actually, this is how I've stumbled into computers as a profession: stumbled!

You know how when you get lost and drive around - and around and around and around - and you finally figure it out and you're there? And in the meantime you've learned a lot about the locale and you can now get around it pretty easily and hopefully it's a place you're going to be going to in the future a lot so you can take advantage of your new"found" knowledge of the place?

This is how I've stumbled into computers. For actually thirty years. My first business I opened up was a computerized secretarial service and I bought a second-hand computer with two disk drives - yup! - and learned DOS (before menus, my Dear), and taught myself to use that computer! I really did that. I stayed up many nights rewriting (or -typing) stuff I had deleted by mistake or the machine had. But I learned and I've kept up with computers since then.

So maybe it's not a mistake!

Maybe it's a field I'm really meant to be in.

I always thought it was ancillary. But now I'm in, hook line and sinker, and actually loving it (when I'm not periodically hating it). I get to use colors and apply my design skills and WRITE by pushing buttons!

And, best of all, I get to CREATE. Isn't that fun? Isn't this fun?

Yes, OK, it's FUN. (Except when it's not, and that's what I'm whining/complaining about right now at the same time I'm making peace with it.)

In my last Stout class Paul Mugan, the assistant teacher, wrote me back about the frustration I was experiencing: "If you're frustrated, that means you're learning!" or words to that effect. I was strangely comforted. Thank you again, Paul.

And now I'm (strangely) comforting myself by accepting that this is just my process. I'm storming along, making headway, when suddenly I bump my head up against a brick wall. Then follows the process of recovering from the ouch! and doing everything I possibly can to scale that wall. This week the wall was not being scaled and I had a project to do with other folks and I was so sunk in how big and busy this project was that I could barely come up for air to be in touch with them! I was totally stumped and was literally afraid that I would not be able to learn the technology to complete the assignment, and then I'd really let my team down! And this is my secret: I prayed. I asked my mother to pray for me. I meditated. I asked my computer angels to please come and help me get. through. this. program and guess what? It worked!

I think I'm just going to have to accept that I'm a tech-ed nerd who prays as part of my learning experience.


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