Marinann Castillo, staff writer

Illustration by Trevor Robertson

Returning to college full-time a year ago to finish my Bachelor’s Degree after 34 years has been a technological adventure. I admit it; I am pretty much an idiot when it comes to electronics.

I don’t have a smart phone. Mine is a dumb phone that I don’t even know how to take pictures on. I just barely learned how to text a couple of months ago. That was only because I learned that other students don’t even answer their cell phone if they don’t know who is calling. And the only way they would know I was calling was if they had me in their “contacts.” Like that’s gonna happen.


My kids complain because I don’t answer my cell phone a lot of the time. I don’t carry it in my pocket because I already have more padding than needed in that area and I don’t want any more. And how am I supposed to remember to turn the ringer back on after class? Or, for that matter, to turn it off once I am in class. I think I need to invent a way to hang it around my neck somehow. Can you say “blingy lanyards” anyone?

I tried to take a computer class to learn to make friends with the thing, but the new lab program still had a lot of bugs in it. I was told not to quit because I could put on my resume that I was a beta tester for it, but I don’t want to be a tester. I just want to make friends with computers. Yeah, I dropped that class in a hurry.

My laptop is only a couple of years old but apparently it is already a dinosaur. I know how to type and can do a few things that I have learned from past jobs. But learning new things on the computer just doesn’t stick unless I do it over and over and over again. So annoying.

In one of my classes we had to do a huge group project and as usual I was the oldest member of the group. The other students thought it would be easiest to do it all in Google Docs. Google what? I am barely used to using Google as a verb, and now it has docs?

They told me it would be so easy to learn and that I would not have any problems with it. Right … just baby me along and I’ll be fine. Oh, and please give me all of the writing assignments because I am great at that.

My theory is that kids today are “native speakers” of all things electronic. I, on the other hand, am a traveler in a foreign land. Hopefully the longer I visit, the more fluent I will become. It may take a while though. By then Google will have had other babies that I am supposed to know how to use. But I will keep plugging along a little at a time, and maybe I’ll even remember how to do a few things along the way.