[Squeakland] the non universals

Blake blake at kingdomrpg.com
Fri Aug 24 01:01:12 PDT 2007

On Thu, 23 Aug 2007 22:33:37 -0700, <mmille10 at comcast.net> wrote:

> No, they didn't use the term "office suite" back then. I was relating  
> the curriculum to what it would be called now. We did learn about how to  
> use a word processor, spreadsheet, and database application, though.  
> Yes, they were separate applications. May be I didn't make that clearin  
> what I wrote. I remember we used AppleWriter (I think), and VisiCalc,and  
> some database app. whose name I can't remember, all on Apple II's.

Well, let me apologize if I sounded overly picky. There was a very short
window (historically speaking) for when "office suite" might have meant
anything other than "Microsoft Office". It's depressing to hear that (at
least in your experience) the needle went from oddball geek hobby to
mundane replacement for typewriter, ledger and filing system. To their
current state: Monopoly perpetuators.

I'm maybe 2 years older than you and my experience was at two different
extremes: I went to a private school which was ahead of the curve as far
as computers go (having a PDP-11 and several Apple ][s for all those who
were interested, which was not many), and then to a public school which
had never seen a computer--put still, net percentage, the difference
between the two in terms of population that knew or cared about computers
was probably about the same.

But you know, it doesn't seem to matter much what subject it is, I've seen
the same thing in all of them: if the student is interested, nothing will
stop him; if not, nothing will help. Some of this is a matter of native
interest: We are not all interested in the same things, and no matter how
delightfully presented, the subject will remain at best a mild curiosity.
Too much of it is a matter of interest destroyed: A student attacks a
subject vigorously but is crushed in some manner or another, say with the
sort of ritualistic kind of "teaching" Alan describes, where there is no
understanding, and these days where the rituals have been replaced with a
shadow of something that "builds self-esteem" while even denigrating
understanding. And of course the usual brutal traditions of bad teachers.

There are few techniques to rehabilitate blunted interest and fewer people
who know how to apply them.

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