They just kept coming through the door…mature types, all ages and sizes. One man even arrived in a wheelchair. They all looked very determined. I started to get worried. My library offered this one session ipad class to help people become familiar with the versatility of the ipad, especially the APPs. I had hoped that the class would be comprised mostly of people like myself who were not total newbies to the tech world, but who needed some guidance. I should have realized that if it’s free…the seniors will come in droves!
Since my retirement I am learning a lot about this senior world. Some of it is good; some not so good. My Chair Yoga class comprised only of seniors has been the answer to my dreams (see yesterday’s slice, Yoga with a Chair) and is helping me back on the path to restored health after a bout with cancer. But many of the seniors arriving for this class are the tigers of the senior world. The class was free and they were determined!
At the outset of the workshop the instructor made a very polite plea for everyone to focus on what he was teaching, and to please not engage in side conversations which would make the class very difficult to control. This worked for about 10 minutes until the hands started going up, always in the middle of one of the instructor’s sentences. The questions were invariably off whatever topic he was on, thereby changing the pace and focus of the whole group. At first, this seemed merely thoughtless, but as it continued it became highly annoying because each person seemed to be wanting the instructor’s personal attention.
Occasionally someone would say something very funny. Whether it was intended to be or not I couldn’t help laughing. For example, suddenly a woman spoke out loudly, “I just received an email from JoAnne asking to share my…” The instructor very patiently tried to address her problem. Moments later she again interrupted saying out loud, “I don’t know anyone named Joanne.” I burst out laughing because the comment demonstrated the “I don’t have a clue, but I insist on making my presence known” type of senior I have encountered at many free workshops at the library.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m a senior, too. But my Mom raised me to be polite and respectful of others…often to my own detriment. After shushing the woman at my table who kept insisting on consulting her tablemates each time she couldn’t figure out something, I finally said, “What about my requests to shush you don’t you understand? I can’t hear the instructor while you keep talking.” I might as well have been talking to the wall. She gave me a nasty look and kept right on doing her thing.
I did manage to learn a lot more about my ipad than I came in knowing, and the instructor was excellent. But I will definitely think twice about attending another free workshop at the library unless it’s after dark when many of my fellow seniors prefer not to drive!