Monday, October 24, 2011

Teaching in the Tenderloin


Previous Blog Post From: Monday October 17th for the week of 11/10 – 11/21


Teaching computer skills to new computer users has always been a sore subject for me. I've never been especially talented at helping others with basic computer skills especially thinking back to the days of helping my parents. On Tuesday, Mun and I headed down to the Tenderloin Tech Lab at 150 Golden Gate in the heart of the Tenderloin to help with an introductory computer skills class.

The class was filled with a diverse population of seniors and middle aged adults. It was certainly interesting to smell the fumes of vodka emanating from the back of the classroom at 10 o'clock in the morning. After all it is the Tenderloin.

The class began with the teacher talking about the objectives for the day: copy and paste and file management. Putting my “expert” tech knowledge to the test I wandered around the class room showing people the appropriate place to click and the importance of copy and paste.

At first everything seemed easy, I became accustomed to the faint vodka smell and settled into offering my guidance around the room.

I became a bit frustrated when it came to helping help an elder gentleman finding a certain menu. He was a really pleasant old man that just could not keep the mouse still. I kept patient and repeatedly showed him where the right place to click was.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic here or even state the fact that I don't enjoy helping people, because this is far from the truth. Like I mentioned before, it is not easy for me to help very inexperienced computer users. It's not something I'm used so I am finding it challenging. I can see now that teaching means adjusting my thinking and developing my patients . I'm not used to speaking about computers in such simple terms.

I'm am sure that I can teach these introductory skills. But I fear for my sanity. Do you have any suggestions? Yoga,medication or mediation? If you have any ideas let me know. You may keeping from loosing my head this year. I already have old man back issues the last thing I need is an ulcer...(just kidding)

On a side note, I would like to thank Paul the instructor at the TTL. Not only were his teaching methods very practical but I was able to retain some very important methods from him that I can use in the near future.  

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