Pinky's Book Link

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Interweb and Pinky's attempts to Googlise!

Hello, my name is Pinky and I’m a reformed Luddite.
I must have been the last surviving person in the modern world stubbornly clinging on to her bank passbook instead of using an ATM card.

At the tender age of forty I enrolled at university, freshly divorced and in need of some decent qualifications with which to gain remunerative employment. 

The five kids were all finally at Primary school so from 8:30 am until 3:00pm each week day I was free.

I enrolled in a four year Bachelor of Education degree. In retrospect the actual course was quite straight forward and I miraculously slipped into study mode straightaway. 

The biggest impediment to my progress was having to grapple with two new-fangled contraptions that had been invented since I left school twenty-three years beforehand; the computer and the internet. Not only did I not know about Microsoft word or how to send an email, I didn’t even know how to turn a computer on.

In blind terror and panic I enlisted twelve year old Thaddeus to deliver some crash courses in technology. 

“Mum! You can’t break it you know!” he would say impatiently to me when I would be scared to touch anything. 

Thaddeus ate his words a few months down the track when I naively opened the ‘Snow White’ email thus crashing his beloved computer.

During the first week of Uni I had to submit a one page summary of my background and yes, they expected it to be typed. I must have spent three hours on the computer composing it. Every time I spotted a mistake on the page; like an imbecile I would backspace all the way back, correct it, and start again. 

Thaddeus hadn’t yet told me about clicking the cursor on to the page.

My tutor was dumbfounded when I handed the first draft of an assignment in to her, completely written out in longhand. 

“It’s much easier if you type it up on the computer you know. Then you can just go in and cut and paste the modifications.” she encouraged pityingly. 

In bewildered confusion at these foreign terms, visions of steely scissors and clag glue popped into my mind.

Students had to sign up for tutorials via email and it was a sh#t fight to get in early because no one wanted to attend the late night sessions. Of course I was one of the last to get on and had to send a begging letter to the tutor to allow me to come to one of the already overfilled daytime sessions.

Dear Louka,

I’m really sorry but the only tutorials I am able to attend are during the day, as I have five babies under twelve and I’m a single mother. I can’t afford a babysitter as my ex-husband doesn’t give me much money. 

Also I’m a mature age student and I feel it’s unfair that we have to sign up through email as the young ones can run faster and they know how to get on to their emails very quickly whereas I am still using a list of fourteen step by step instructions.
Yours truly, 

Pinky Poinker.

I optimistically hit send. An email immediately appeared on my screen and I opened it. Who could it be? I thought in excitement. 
What?... it was the email I’d just sent to the tutor.

“Excuse me, sorry to be a pest,” I interupted the pimply faced geek in the booth beside me. “Can you tell me why this email I just sent came back to me?”

“It’s because you hit ‘reply all’.” He drawled in a patronising tone. “Your email was sent to everyone doing the same course as you, so it came to you as well.” 

Oh for f#*k’s sake ! I thought in shock. There are four hundred students doing this course. Now everyone doing an education degree knows what a d#ckhead loser I am writing that pathetic sob story.

Another horrifying thought struck me like a bolt of lightning.

“How much does each email cost?” I asked him in terror.

Things did improve and eventually I grew confident enough to throw away Thaddeus’ list of “Steps to Turning on your Computer”.

Six years ago we were issued with laptops at work. They were a brand new device to me and as I despise change I found fault with everything about them. 

“I don’t like sliding my finger around this little square instead of using a mouse pad. “ I whined.

“You can always plug in a mouse to the laptop.” My friend Lisa offered helpfully.

“But that’s just silly!” I replied haughtily. “How could a mouse fit in to this little square.”