Wednesday, January 09, 2008

and the student becomes the teacher

The first time I ever got a flat tire was in my own drive way. Which is good I guess since I could just go right inside and call my Daddy (bio, not sugar). Of course on the outside that's all fine and good. Until you meet Daddy. He has his own style of teaching. He came out, said something to the affect of "Sucks to be you", then sat down to watch me change it. I was pissed! I cried, and got mad at him, my mom got mad at him. "That's not the way MY dad taught me!" she yelled. "Did you learn anything?" he smuggly answered? He never buckled. He said he did it that way so that if I was on the side of the road at 3 am, I would know what to do.

Damn it. His approach worked. Years later when I had a blow out on a major interstate, I calmly pulled over and changed my own tire.

My dad is one of the smartest guys I know. He can take apart and fix anything. He once fixed the power locks on my car with wood chips and super glue. Who thinks of that? And who gets that to work?

When I was in college a roommate of mine had some car trouble. From 100 miles away, she called Dad from the Auto Repair Store where they were suggesting the $300 worth of parts she would need to fix the problem. He got on the phone with them and said, "Let me get this right. You are going to charge her that much to go in and unscrew this piece, replace that piece, and screw back on the cover? I don't think so!" She left with her $20 repair.

I tell you all of this to give you some insight into his evolution to a man of the 21st century. A few more facts to keep in mind.

He is 61 years old and he has NEVER used a computer. This year he bought my mom (also a techno newbie, meaning she can email and play a mean hand of solitaire) a brand new photo quality printer/scanner/copy/fax/coffee maker for Christmas.

Over break, I installed the printer for him and held several small training sessions. We limited our focus to scanning, cropping, and printing an existing picture. He would rather NOT have to turn on the computer for anything.

He did pretty well, and only had to call me one time to come to his rescue. I was only a mile away at my cousin's house, so it was no problem. I went right over and we got things taken care of in no time.

Flash forward.

Last night at 9 pm my time (10 his) he calls me from over 200 miles away with a printer issue. Do you know how hard it is to try to talk someone through something like that? I am sadly NOT a member of the Geek squad, so my knowledge is limited. Then I had to deal with explaining some terminology. Think back to before you knew what "desktop, background, or double click" was. Look at the top right corner of your brower? How would you descibe those three little boxes? Min, Max, and Close right? Or would you say minus, box and times (as in multiplication) as my dad did? I give him credit. He is making the effort. Stepping outside of his comfort zone.

I was MUCH more kind than my dad was when teaching me about a tire. Then again, I'm not sure that at 3 am he is going to be able to scan, crop, and print a picture.


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

There's a reason your father's cell number is in my phone — and it has nothing to do with cropping & scanning.

You forgot to mention that he makes AWESOME furniture with his wood. Seriously, when's he going to make ME a cabinet, entertainment center or bed frame?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

(wink wink, nudge nudge)

=) said...

EWWWWWWW--Were you just talking about my Dad's WOOD? That's almost as bad as when my MOM tries to talk about their "relationship"!

(fingers jammed in ears)

La la la la I can't HEAR you.

But I'm sure he might be tempted to make you something in exchange for one of your world class hugs!

Robyn said...

Your dad and my dad should get together and go bowling.* Seriously.

(*bonus points if you can name the movie that quote is from...)

Tara said...

Wood chips and super glue? Are you kidding me? I want your dad's cell number in my phone, too.

XOXO said...

I think the only thing left to do is make him cry in frustration.

XOXO said...

third worst- why oh why are you yicky?

Stacy said...

Hi-Thirdworst sent me here, good call. What was your dad doing trying to edit photos at 3am?

=) said...

He wasn't literally trying to edit pictures at 3 am. I was trying to be witty and refer back to his comment about me being able to change my own tire on the side of the road at 3 am.