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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Adventures in computer training #4

I wasn't in a cheerful mood when I reported to the Cleveland
Sight Center for another session of computer training. Because my
father did not set up my computer, I was unable to do my
homework. This bothered me immensely. I'm not the kind of person
to ignore directions. But what could I do?

As expected, I had to endure a 20 minute lecture about the
importance of doing my homework. This didn't help my mood. I felt
like a naughty school girl, even though the situation was out of
my control. The whole thing touched at family problems that I
didn't want to talk about.

My trainer quizzed me on the commands I learned the week before.
Although I couldn't practice, I did take the time to review and
memorize the commands. He laughed and clapped at each correct
answer. I wasn't feeling so impressed with myself.

This week, I learned about some Word attributes. My trainer took
much time in explaining how to make changes to the text of a
document. For example, I learned how to center and underline text
and to use bold print or italics. I couldn't seem to get the
point across that I understand the concepts involved. I do this
stuff on my Braillenote. I just needed to know the Word commands.

My task was to create a sample document with a title and three
sentences. I needed to use underline, bold and italics. I
carefully thought about how I could write a little paragraph that
used each of these attributes. Typing it proved to be a problem.
I warned my trainer that I don't know the Windows keyboard. Shift
keys are the biggest problem because they are located in
different position on the Windows and Braillenote keyboards. He
said he would mark the shift keys for me, but he did not.

I could find the left shift but not the one on the right. I ended
up with tons of back-slashes in my document. It was a struggle to
correct this, since I still didn't know where to find the back
space key.

Finally, my trainer helped me through fixing the document. He
pointed out that I typed mostly in lowercase. I guess he didn't
catch on. I had to remind him about the keyboards being
different. I told him I know how to do this stuff, it's just the
keyboard that makes it so hard. He said I just need to practice.
I fought not to roll my eyes at him.

I successfully centered the title. I then highlighted the word I
planned to put in italics. Uh-oh... I guess I over-thought the
assignment. I was supposed to change just the title. I did want
felt like a baby task -- control-b for bold, control-i for
italics and control-u to underline.

My trainer was delighted. He praised me so highly. I did
wonderful... I'm amazing... My work is excellent. I felt like an
idiot. Too much praise is not a good thing.

So, now I'm pondering the situation. Is my trainer being
over-enthusiastic because he believes I'm slow-minded? Is he the
kind of person who is amazed that a deaf-blind individual can do
anything at all? Or was I just in a bad mood to begin with? I'm
thinking it's a bit of all three.

Before I left, I got another lecture, this time about my
attitude. I'm supposed to be more positive and learn to feel
pride in my work. I just want to be treated like an adult, not a
baby. But I didn't say that part.

When I got home I discovered my father had set up my computer. I
was excited to plug in my Focus and get started on my new
homework. I managed to get everything turned on and was delight
when text appeared on the braille display. This pleasure lasted
on a few seconds. My trainer never showed me how to get started.
I had no clue what to do in order to open a document. I played
around but couldn't figure it out. I asked friends online for
help, but their advice didn't work. Once again, I am stuck. I
sent my trainer an email about the problem but still haven't
heard back. It looks like I'll be returning without my homework.
Again, what am I supposed to do?

Ironically, he did show me how to shut down the computer. I went
through the commands, and it worked. I guess I still have a poor
attitude, because I didn't feel happy when the computer turned

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