I’ve Had a Breakthrough

Note: I apologize for the length of this post, but writing this was sooo therapeutic.  I may even be able to enjoy ALL THE TECHNOLOGY one day!  (No thanks to Dipti.  If you have the stamina to read it, you’ll understand.)

It’s no secret that technology scares me.  It says, “Boo,” and I say, “Boohoo.”  Silly as it may sound, I am afraid that I am going to break it — the cell phones, the cameras, the computers, the whole ball of technology.  One wrong keystroke, one errant click, and all of it will be GONE.

Even though I have been assured by some highly qualified computer people that the likelihood of my breaking the technology is slim-to-none, I am still afraid.  Folks, I have THE FEAR; this awful fear that keeps me from taking advantage of all the fun things and conveniences that technology has to offer. (Yes, I still want that iPhone, but the FEAR keeps me from really pursuing it.)

Since starting this blog I have been forced to explore the technology a little bit, and I’m not going to lie.  I’m way out of my comfort zone.  I actually started it under a different name on another host, and it made me so nervous that I dismantled it or took it down or whatever the proper term is.  See?  I don’t even know the terminology.  Half the time I don’t even know if Tater Tales is out there floating around in the blogosphere or webernet or whatever.  I see words on other blogs like “kirtsy,” “technorati,” “comments,” and “CSS,” and I feel faint.

I’ve had to ask myself, “What events in my past have led to such a fear?  Pretty soon, memories start flooding back like snapshots, and I’m almost certain I know the answer.

It isn’t a what that happened, but rather a who.

The flashbacks kept coming and coming, and suddenly I heard Kelly Clarkson’s voice singing,

Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk

Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t

BREAK THE TECHNOLOGY…

If you’ve read the blog long enough, you knew I was going to change the words.  I’m sure Miss Clarkson won’t mind.  She obviously knows what it’s like to have THE FEAR.  Just look at the lyrics she wrote.

Because of you-oo-oo-oo-oo…I am afraid

And I’m sure there is a way to stick a link to that song right here in this very post rather than writing out the lyrics, which is so lame, but do I know how to do it? Nooooooo.  Am I afraid to try?  Darn straight!

“Now, you know I’d rather walk on my lips than criticize anybody…” as Truvy woud say.

But if the healing is ever to begin, I think I have to.  I am going to talk a little a lot of smack about the person who planted this vile seed of technology fear.

Her name was Dipti. (As far as I know, it still is.)

DIPTI!  DIPTI!  DIPTI! I do not know her last name, but she taught computer lab at Mississippi State, and we had the misfortune of crossing paths.  It’s a wonder I’m not still sitting there trying to pass the course.

I walked into class the first day, and here is everything I knew about computers.

NUMERO UNO. They were big old clunky machines with cords and wires going every which-a-way, making a huge mess on the floor, all the while emitting this hypnotizing little hum that made me instantly sleepy.  Hence the reason for my taking a GINORMOUS diet coke to the second class and getting royally chewed out by Dipti.  Something about liquids, wires, and machines… blah, blah, blah.  Her English was not exactly as clear as a bell.  So it was very helpful when she yanked the “No Drinks Allowed” sign off the door and rattled it in my face.

NUMBER B. Computers were BAD.  I was no fool.  I had seen War Games.

However, this was a required class, so what could I do?  Maybe I would actually learn something valuable.  My roommate’s boyfriend majored in computer engineering and was working in Texas, and he assured me that (A) I needed to know something about computers because they were not, as I tried to convince him, a fad like the pet rock; and (B) my computer was NOT going to ask me, “Would you like to play a game?”

Until that class I believed it when people said that there were no stupid questions.  Well, the people never needed Dipti’s help.  Unfortunately, I needed Dipti’s help a lot.  So much so that it got on her nerves and she just started ignoring me altogether.  The girl who sat next to me was very helpful and didn’t mind saving me when I got stranded.  She, too, had smuggled a drink into class on the day of my unfortunate tongue-lashing, but she had the sense to have brought one small enough to conceal in her backpack.  (Damn those Big Gulps.)  She took pity on me, and what can I say?  I needed and appreciated the help.

In this lab, everything centered around MS-DOS.  I HATED MS-DOS with such a passion that it still makes my eye twitch.

As I recall, one of the major problems with the class, other than my being in it, was that the computers were SLOW.  College seniors do not like slow, especially in the spring semester, and most of us were college seniors.  Additionally, Dipti had a habit of racing through the exercises with us, then telling the entire class of about 30 (give or take a few) that we could PRINT.

Do you remember computer labs back in the early 90s?  If more than, oh, four people tried to print, everything froze.  It had happened to us before.  One brave soul suggested having us print in cycles or something logical.  We never heard from him again.

This one particular day was no different.  Computers were locking up all over the place.  We couldn’t print and it was clear that the assignment we were supposed to turn in before we left wasn’t going to get turned in.  Hands were shooting up everywhere and people were fed up.  Uh-oh.  The natives were getting restless, and Dipti did not like it one bit.

She shushed us.  Yes she did.  SHE SHUSHED COLLEGE SENIORS, which I’m sure is the number 2 technique in How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Right after “Spit in the person’s face.”

Now, I don’t even recall what I did or didn’t do that set Dipti off.  I may have laughed when my friend said, “I hate her stinking guts,” but I really can’t say for certain.

What I DO know is that, Dipti was apparently standing behind me and she let me have it.

OH.  MY.  WORD.  She started screaming and pointing her finger at me, and I couldn’t understand anything she was saying except, “MS-DOS…MS-DOS,” which came out about every sixth word or so.  I don’t think the other parts were in English.  Thank goodness, because I’m guessing she wasn’t telling me how helpful I was being in solving the problem with MS-DOS.

And then, THEN, she threw me out of computer lab!

“You….go….out…”

I’ve never been thrown out of ANYTHING in my entire life.  Before or since.

I drove back home, stomped upstairs to my room and plopped my exiled self on my bed.  I was kind of, um, ticked off….yet delighted not to be in computer lab.  It was a strange mix of emotions.

Fortunately, my roommate, Diane, was there and by the time I finished telling her about it we were laughing so hard that we were crying.

As far as the rest of the semester was concerned, I have blocked most of what we had to do from my memory.  I hear it’s a very common coping mechanism people use when they’ve been traumatized in some way.  After 16 years, though, it feels good to finally talk about it.

Ironically, I’m using the computer to do it.

No thanks to Dipti, of course.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mrs Lemon
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 16:10:18

    ROFL – you got kicked out of computer lab. You rebel you.

    Reply

  2. tracey
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 19:16:13

    LOL! I’m astonished that you are on the computer now!!! You go you brave girl.

    Reply

  3. Tater Mama
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 19:43:18

    Oh, yes….I live on the edge these days! You only go around once and all that jazz….! Glad to see you Mrs. Lemon and Tracey!

    Reply

  4. Lora Lynn
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 14:14:08

    hilarious!

    Reply

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