Thursday, May 08, 2003

I spent a couple hours tonight going through Project Read's old computer junk that's been stashed on shelves and under desks for a long time. I was just generally clearing things out and organizing but it was like a small archaeological expedition. There was some really old, useless stuff in there. Manuals for software we don't have, equipment that we can't connect to any of our computers, and even things I couldn't really identify. It was kind of interesting, though. And now we have several boxes of stuff to get donated or, more likely, recycled. The stuff we could ever conceivably use now takes up about one shelf.

In about a week and a half I'm going to teach my first computer workshop. So I've been preparing for that a bit, and I've got bilingual handouts and everything (though Georgina will probably do any on-the-spot translating that's needed). It's a little hard to anticipate what it will be like, though, since we don't really know who's going to show up. I'm figuring on having this lesson be absolute basics -- as in "this is how you turn it on," "this is a mouse, it doesn't bite," etc. -- since we know there are plenty of people who need that. But if a lot of people show up already knowing the basics, I need to be prepared to teach more. That shouldn't be too hard, though. And then after this lesson, we'll decide if we need to do more like it or move on to more intermediate things, like word processing or using the internet.

I'm looking forward to teaching the class. Being the computer lab volunteer (and now, part-time staff) has kept me a little more involved with the computers than the actual students. I knew that when I took the job, of course. The tutors are the ones who spend the most time actually teaching and I do a lot of computer and software setup and maintenance. It's been good, though, because I feel like I've really done a lot to make everything more manageable -- we don't have as many problems as we used to, and it will be easier to maintain even after I'm gone. But it is nice to do some teaching, too.

Speaking of teaching, though -- it's harder in Spanish. Thelma always helps me practice my Spanish when she's in here, but today I was trying to explain things about Microsoft Word and saving files. That's not the sort of thing I learned in highschool :-)

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