dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #929

Otter Perry ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Sun Dec 19 10:09:51 EST 2004

On Saturday, December 18, 2004, at 06:55 PM, Greeniegirl2 at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 12/18/2004 10:16:42 AM Central Standard Time, 
> rosieburroughs at yahoo.com writes:
> Mine was a boarding school at which the boarders had no access to
> computers outside school hours. I don't mean that Latin is not useful -
> I'm glad I did it - but my IT skills, such as they are, have been
> acquired piecemeal and on the job. I am now finding that many employers
> want bits of paper to "prove" one knows how to use Word or whatever.
> Rosie
> I can't imagine having to teach myself a lot about computers 
> because at school they started us learning to type at around 11 years 
> old and we have to take computer classes in middle and high school. I 
> love making fun of my dad because he does the whole typing with two 
> fingers searching for the letters thing. It becomes very frusterating 
> to watch though. Actually, this year my school is trying this new 
> thing some of the other schools have tried where all the freshmen (9th 
> graders) had to get laptops and they use them to take notes on and do 
> other things with. They also are trying to get the majority of the 
> textbooks on CDs to go along with the laptops. I'm not really sure how 
> it's going but from what I've seen it looks like a pain to have to 
> carry them everywhere and all the kids just play Halo or Tetris during 
> class, though I hear the teachers are getting really good at knowing 
> when they are doing this or not. They are also expensive too.
> -Jordan

Oh, my goodness.  How times change.

Now when _I_ was in school -- even when I was at university -- there
was no such thing as a personal computer.  We didn't even have
hand-held calculators, if you can imagine; we used slide rules.

In fact, I still have my slide rule somewhere in a box.  About 1984
my friend was a teaching assistant for a class that all the engineering
students had to take.  It was on the social
impact of technology.  I remember they had a section on the Bomb
and a section on the automobile.  [This was in Detroit, so the 
was particularly apt.]  In any case, at one point, she borrowed my
slide rule to take in and show her students.  They were awed.
"People really _calculated_ with those?!"

As for typing, I finally broke down when I was 26 and learned touch-
typing because I needed a job and jobs for women who could type
paid better.  So when I _did_ meet up with computers, I was prepared.


There are 10 kinds of people in the world:
those who understand binary and those who don't.

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