Monthly Archives: May 2016

Non-techies unite!  Grab a pencil and some paper and follow me!

I am writing this blog tonight on a computer and I intend to post it online, but I want all of you to know I do it under protest. For an avowed non-techie like myself, the time has come to rebel.

Everyone has known for many years how I feel about computers, but I think this week we have reached new heights. I say that computers are taking over the world and those of us who don’t use them continuously are being discriminated against.

I wanted to sign up for a class this summer. It was one I have been interested in for a while. I took my admission papers for the school and tried to follow the instructions. The main instruction is to sign up on-line, not by calling the school. I went to the WebAdvisor page and followed enough instructions so it got my name right.

The next instruction said to “Click Here” to sign up for the class. I “clicked there” and got to the class page. I clicked on the class I wanted. It sent me back to the WebAdvisor page which instructed me to “Click here” to sign up for the class. For an hour and a half I continued to “click here,” with each click getting me nowhere in particular and always taking me back to the WebAdvisor page which advised me to “Click here.” By then, if I had owned a revolver, I would have pointed it at the computer, put my finger on the trigger and invited the computer to “click here.”

Of course, eventually I had to contact the school who discovered a “little glitch” in my program, so they signed me up for the class. This happens to me frequently; apparently I have a spot on my computer which invites me to “click here for the little glitch!” The whole point is that in the end, a person signed me up for the class.

The same thing happens whenever I attempt to use the computer for such transactions. I went to get a ticket to a play I really wanted to see. I had to set up an account first and then “click here” to get my ticket. I clicked. The little swirly circle swirled and I thought we were all set up. Two weeks later, no ticket had arrived. I took a chance. I called. The lady there said, “No, you didn’t buy a ticket. Too bad, we’re all out. You should have called.”

Trouble is, of course, phones are no better these days. They are all little computers just dripping with apps and programs and even cameras. And they are truly dehumanizing the country. I eat lunch alone in restaurants a lot. I don’t like it but it’s often necessary. When I sit in those restaurants, I watch the people at tables around me who come in together, but who are also eating alone. Or they are eating with their preferred companions, their phones. It’s too sad to be funny.

Discrimination is the hot topic of the country. We should have consideration for the differently abled, racial tension, gender identity, etc. We should have consideration for those groups, but what about those of us who are simply not in step with all this technology? We need a voice to speak for us as well.

The crowning moment came this week. I sat down to do some work on my computer (yes, I have one) and it couldn’t be accessed. It was busy “updating.” It’s done this before…usually takes about 20 minutes. Except that this took five hours and when it was finished, it announced, “We have updated you to Windows 10.” Now, that was unnerving, to say the least. My computer made a decision for me and then tied up my programs for five hours to do something I didn’t want done in the first place.

After it was finished, there was this creepy little message which now sits permanently on the bottom of my screen: “I’m Cortana. Ask me anything.” It sounds a little like a sexual come-on, but if I were to ask Cortana something, it would probably be to give her a suggestion of what she can do with herself.

Non-techies arise! We must do something before it’s too late! Give me my paper and pencil back—or at least, let me have my Windows 8!

 

 

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No pictures, please; One week to fixing it

My back spare bedroom has the door closed and it is difficult to get open. It’s full of boxes and bags and stacks of stuff I have been putting back there “until I have time to do something with them.” Of course, the school year has proceeded and I haven’t fixed it yet.

My living room is covered in a fine layer of dust that hasn’t been lifted since Easter. I have it on my list of things to do, but to be honest, it will be last thing on the list because I have written the list in the dust on my library table in the living room. Wouldn’t want to wreck that.

I have three piles of laundry lying in different places—in a chair in my bedroom, on the spare bedroom bed and in a basket on the couch. It looks terrible and everything is getting wadded up and wrinkled, but I’ll get it all fixed. In another week, everything will get done.

My cupboard is bare and my sink is full. I read this week that there’s a new app on the phone that will allow you to check inside your refrigerator while you are at the store, just to see what you need. That sounds ridiculous. I don’t want to look inside my refrigerator when I’m in the kitchen; I sure don’t want to see it when I’m out in public! But even that will be fixed in another week.

You may ask, why am I waiting a week? Well, because this mess in my house has been building up for the last nine months and next week school is out for the summer. At that point, I will no longer have stacks of correcting to do, tons of lesson plans to make out or any of the four thousand other things teachers get to do when “school is over” for the day. It’s never over at 3 o’clock for a teacher, and it’s seldom over at 10 p.m.

I will have fun with my summer. I won’t get at the housework right away, of course. The first week I’ll just sit on the back deck with a pot of tea and stare into space. I won’t be looking at anything in particular and I might chuckle every once in a while, but no one should worry about that.

I’ll get the dishes and the laundry and the dusting caught up gradually as the summer progresses, but the refrigerator and the bathroom will probably be put off for last. I have thought many times about getting a cleaning lady to come in once a week, but I always end up rejecting the idea. I don’t have the time to clean the bathroom and the refrigerator once a week before she came in, because I sure wouldn’t be letting any cleaning people see those two things as they are. They’d call the health department.

So, things pile up. I have a stack of letters, invitations, appointment cards, junk mail, ect., that I just leave on the desk. I sort out the important stuff, but when I’m done with anything, I add it to the pile. In another week, I’ll get around to shredding, discarding or scrapbooking the things in the pile that need it, but for right now, that stack just keeps getting higher. It’s the dog’s go-to spot when she’s looking for something to rip up, but she can’t read, so she always ends up shredding the things I wanted to keep.

And that brings me to the stairwell—the site of her shredding escapades. The steps are so full of bits of paper and cardboard that I’ve forgotten what color the carpet is. It’s strewn with half-destroyed toys and shreds of her latest kennel bed. In another week, I’ll get around to clearing it away, but for now, it’s just going to have to continue to look like a tornado site.

There will be no pictures to go with this blog, so you’ll have to take my word for it, but my house looks pretty bad. Any picture I could take, you just wouldn’t want to see. But it’ll all be fixed. Final bell for the year rings in a week!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Anxiety of Change…

The spring of the year seems to be a time of change for many people. If they are going to move or change jobs, spring is a good time. Schools end, summer jobs start, graduates are jumping from academic pursuits to on-the-job challenges. And with all that, comes anxiety. I have had conversations with at least four people—three of whom are younger than me, on the topic of anxiety just this week.shutterstock_101041396

How do we eliminate anxiety? Especially when we are a country of such monumental change…all the time? Personally, I hate change so much I wear my shoes until they have holes in their holes and I keep my toothbrushes until the last bristles fall out. Do I have anxiety anyway? Of course! Who doesn’t?

I also have a philosophy about anxiety. (It’s not really mine…I read it somewhere.) With the increase of our mobility as a society, our anxiety has intensified. When our ancestors roamed the world, they didn’t worry about change, they worried about enough food and adequate shelter. Once societies developed, they worried about family ties and social traditions. Today, we worry about all of those things plus we have the added need to search our souls, keep expanding, take care of everyone else, excel at our jobs and all the while wondering how to avoid trashing the planet or blowing it up.

The good news is that today we are smart enough to provide aids when the anxiety gets too overwhelming. Everything from talk therapy to physical and medical aides can help give an edge over anxiety and most intelligent, educated people make use of them when they need them.

The underlying issue of change leading to anxiety is the same, though. We all worry about making the right move with every decision. The only trouble is, anxiety doesn’t help us in making the decision. In fact, it can stop us from making the decisions that are best for us.

I’ve spent so much time in my life letting my anxiety get in my own way when it comes to the things that I want. And do you know what I’ve discovered? That my anxiety doesn’t improve when I refuse to make decisions and refuse to change…in fact, in many cases in my life it has been worse—because I failed to “choose the road less taken.”

This column isn’t too humorous, but at this time of graduation when so many are making choices which are so important to their futures and when we all face a plethora of changes, I thought it might be worth mentioning that we all have anxiety and it isn’t always easy to control. It will never go away, so the secret is to learn to control it—by whatever means you can—so that it doesn’t control you. Take it from someone who knows, anxiety and uncertainty can take many disguises, but if it can, it will try to take over…don’t let it. Go out and get everything you want and let your anxiety worry about maintaining itself!

Have a great week—I promise I’ll be funny next time!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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