By Tom Hurst
* I remember learning to use a multi-party, rotary dial telephone that sat on a corner desk, my parents’ first phone.
* I remember learning to use a single-party, rotary dial telephone hung on the wall.
* I learned to use a manual typewriter in junior high school and continued to use the “portable” machine through all of my undergraduate courses. Mistakes had to be fixed, one by one, with a circular eraser attached to a small brush and, after that, with messy, white correcting fluid.
* I learned to drive in a three-speed 1958 Ford with the stick shift located on the steering column. I eventually drove a five-speed stick-shift Toyota.
* I learned to use an electric typewriter that had a white inner tape to help correct mistakes.
* I learned to use an electronic typewriter with a round steel ball with letters on it.
* With difficulty, I learned to use Apple computers, one model after another struggling to learn every concept, every software, every whatever I needed.
* I came to McPherson, Kansas, in 2006 and learned to adapt to an IBM style computer with its software.
* In 2010, I bought my first hand-held flip phone and, with a SmartPhone, sent my first text in 2019. I’ve learned to use its GPS, camera and calculator apps.
* Both my vehicles are 20+ years old. I will likely have to take a month-long training course to learn how to drive the next vehicle I buy.
* And now….. now I am learning, slowly, with great difficulty, how to teach my students online. More than a month has now passed, and I’m proud of what skills I have learned.
I’ve had to learn a lot in my life. The learning never, ever stops! And, now, I lay awake at night envisioning my entire summer spent with a tutor teaching me how to be a better on-line teacher! What a life!