If I had a few extra hours every day, I'd really like to take a cooking class and learn how to use those ubiquitous things that they call "pots" and "pans". I'd like to have the ability to open the refrigerator and see various things ('ingredients' some might call them) sitting on a shelf and just instinctively know how to create a wonderful meal.
I'd like to learn a second language.
I'd like to take a photography class and learn how to use all of the settings on my camera. But until such time that I have more hours in the day - or am struck with the ability to easily absorb knowledge - I'm happy to report that my 16-year old niece, Angela, has given me a brief overview of Photoshop, which is one of those things I've always wanted to understand.
Charlie bought me Photoshop last year for Christmas and after I loaded it on to my computer and realized that it was not at all intuitive, I haven't done anything with it for 16 months. Except see it load on to my sidebar every time I start my computer and frustratedly think, "Hopefully, I'll figure THAT out before I'm 90."
When our family was here this past weekend, Angela pulled up a chair and showed me how to edit photos in Photoshop. I was absolutely blown away by how computer savvy she is at 16-years old. Not only does she know everything there is to know about Photoshop, she fully understands HTML to the point that she created her father's business website entirely from scratch.
When she was eleven.
Angela took this picture of Sir Henry Elton John, with William in the background, and with a simple little zip zap of this and that ...
Created this picture...
I was amazed. Much like I was amazed when William figured out how to access Live World News on our Wii. And Carolyn figured out how to change her Wii profile picture. And Elizabeth figured out how to reset all of our computer settings.
When I asked Angela how she learned all of these things on her own, she said "I just tinker until I can understand how things work. It's pretty simple, really. You know?"
No. I don't know.
I don't know at all.
Charlie recently adjusted my running watch because although I've tried to make adjustments, ever since Day Light Savings time started last month, the time has been off by an hour. And after trying desperately to read the owners manual for our stereo receiver, I still couldn't figure out how to turn off the speakers in our dining room so I unplugged all of the wires from our home entertainment system. This caused my husband a great deal of anxiety. But, that's what he gets for going to work.
I've resigned myself to the shallow end of obtaining certain knowledge. I know my patience level and I know my limitations. I know that the way I learn is to have someone stand directly in front of me and walk me through something, step by step. By step.
If the way the children have been figuring things out with various electronic equipment is any indication of their technical prowess, very soon, I'll have tots riding around in carseats who know more about computer applications than me.