A Kooky iPad Class

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!


6 thoughts on “A Kooky iPad Class”

  1. Funny you should say that. The instructor’s first question to the group was ” Have you ever tried to get a 17 year old to explain something on the computer to you?” We all laughed.

    But, for me, the point is we are supposed to be older and wiser. Some of us are older…but not necessarily much wiser!


  2. Barbara, this was laugh out loud funny for me! I really did burst out laughing a couple of times reading this. Your first line is always one that makes me want to read more- you have great hooks. I’ve noticed this across many of your pieces. I also love the line about the tigers of the senior world! And the part about the lady who didn’t know a Joanne….so funny!! You almost need 1 on 1 instruction for that type of thing. They should seriously ask for kind/thoughtful high school students to volunteer to assist the seniors who need more of a beginner lesson. This was a really funny slice and I love how each day I get a new insight into your life. Loving your posts! Of course.


    1. I am so glad you “got” the humor of the situation. It was both terribly funny and horribly frustrating at the same time. Thank you for the compliment on my hooks. I do try to think about how to draw the reader into the piece, so I guess it’s working. I am realizing that you are documenting your working mom/classroom life for me, while I am documenting the craziness of the world beyond the house and classroom. So we are learning from and about each other! Thanks for coaxing me into this!


  3. I knew that trouble was ahead when you described the seniors coming in droves. I feel sorry for the instructor. You would have thought there would be a limit to the number of people allowed in the class. Good for them for wanting to understand, but shame on them for their behavior.


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