Skill Building

I am learning new skills.  The old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” thankfully, I’ve found, does not apply to me.  I have learned more about technology during my trip to Edinburgh than in the last 20 years.  For instance, I am now writing a blog.  Really!?  I had no idea how to do that until last Tuesday and now I am able to sign on and write a blog. I can also Tweet!  That’s right, Tweet, and I do so everyday thank you. And, if I don’t say so myself, some of my Tweets are downright clever! The acquisition of these now common everyday skills may sound trite to some, but when your computer skills were truly limited to e-mail, facebook and ebay, blogging and Tweeting are big steps.

I am now somewhat proficient with a video camera. To be brutally honest I was scared to death of the thing. I was nervous that I would break it or at the very least do something to it that would keep it in some continuous loop or some other strange thing that would force me to buy a new camera. However, I overcame my fear and learned it won’t do anything that I don’t tell it to do. Pure power!  So now, I can put it up, check to see if it is taping correctly and video live performances without asking for help from my younger, more tech savvy classmates.  They are probably happy about that too. Now they can get their own work done and stop helping me. A win-win!

I have successfully used an audio recorder to tape a group interview.  Big deal, all you do is turn the recorder on and off, right?  Well not to the remedial tech person.  I had to practice with the device several times to make sure I was actually recording.  Then I had to check to determine if I could hear what was said. Sadly, after my first practice I heard absolutely nothing. Headphones? Did someone say headphones?  Duh!  You need headphones to hear the audio recording.  So I found some headphones and Wa-la…the practice taping worked!   After doing that about 15 times (repetitive actions help when you just don’t get it) I was finally comfortable with the little hand-held machine and able to interview a group of delightful students from the California Institute of the Arts about their play entitled “Kaspar”. They didn’t even know I’d just learned to work that little recorder that day!   I am now the master of the audio recorder, a skill that belongs to me and no one can divest me of it!.

Then there is my own technology.  I so wanted to use pen and paper, they are, after all old and dear friends, but I chose to get up close and personal with both my new tablet and my laptop.  I can use certain things like Word and Angry Birds, but learning to use my laptop to place photos in blogs for instance or my tablet to take pictures was a different story.  Yes, I know how to take pictures,(I had a Brownie camera back in the day that I could manipulate just fine, thank you)  but working with the tablet to get good photos was a test.  I also learned how to take videos with my tablet, a skill of which I am very proud.  Just ask and I will be more than willing to show my latest video.

Last, but not least, is the use of apps.  My apps included the Weather Channel, Jewels and MapMyWalk.  Since being here at the Fringe, my classmates have shown me how to find the times for shows, get a map of Edinburgh, find the nearest Indian food and how to connect to WIFI anywhere, including the bus. Oh joy!  I can be as connected as everyone else in the world! Now if I could only change the ring tone on my Smart phone…

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