Sunday, January 13, 2008

Coming of Age

My landlady, neighbor, and most of all good friend, Eileen, has been learning to blog. When she first expressed frustration about using her computer it wasn't hard (once I showed her my own set-up) to talk her out of her old PC with dial-up and into an iMAC and DSL. She purchased a state-of-the-art combination printer/fax/copier, too. Weeks later she confided, "I am still feeling frustrated with my computer. All I ever use it for is email."

Like many senior citizens, Eileen is hesitant to enter the accelerated age of technology. Speed, constant contact, and the quirks of electronic gadgetry aren’t high priorities for her. Teaching, making purposeful conversation, and having quiet time to ponder—these hold more meaning. Her ability to converse, to think things through, to make silence a part of her day, are the very things that drew me to her and make her the marvelous person she is. But, she told me, she wants to participate in this era, in this new way, as well. She has never been afraid to learn something, to explore possibilities. And besides, she would be moving before the end of the summer and wanted a way to share her new life with others.

So began our Sunday morning lessons in word processing, photo importing, and blogging. I showed her my own blog and my daughter’s and a few of my favorites so she could see how using her computer could enlarge and enrich her life.

Eileen's current post reflects both her resistance to change for change’s sake and her uncertainty about the efficacy of what she calls the evolving electronic age. Having for years eschewed television for books and cell phones for uninterrupted quiet time, she effectively distanced herself from what many of us, especially the younger generations, have come to take for granted. Her old computer was her first concession to the age of electronics but it was slow and clumsy and she was untrained in its use. As she learns to master her new one, she is discovering a way to tap her creativity and share it in one fell swoop. We are both excited by her progress.

photo credit: blogging.JPG


Ruth D~ said...

Wonderful post, Pauline! I'd love to visit Eileen when she's open to the world.

Pauline said...

She's up and running Ruth - just click on her name in my post and you can visit her. She'd love it!

Mother of Invention said...

I spent the whole morning in the fall with my old camp director from way back on setting up a blog. He's hesitant and hasn't done anything with it since but it is neat he wanted to do it. Think I'll call him for another lesson!

Eileen said...

I like what you wrote a lot . You are such a good teacher. It is sweet to feel myself treated the way a shy and reluctant student needs to be treated to get into the lesson . I'm trying . Love eileen

Pauline said...

You are trying AND succeeding, Eileen! (Are you having fun yet?)

MOI - hope your friend gets hooked!

meggie said...

What a great post. Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me. I was so amazed when people came to read what I had written.
The wonderful opportunities to learn so much about other folks, & the world out there! I find life exciting from my chair!

Pauline said...

Ah Meggie - thanks for encouraging Eileen and for the compliment for me you left on her site! I enjoy "visiting" you and reading your thoughts.