April 10th, 2010

krazy koati

I'm intelligent and clean, know what I mean?

The library event coming Monday that fascinates me is set for Monday, at 10 am, so I will sadly miss it; I could reschedule work next week to take Monday off but that's a little too inconvenient for me. But the title of the class, and the description, captivate me. It's called, Mouse Basics, and the description is, ``Learn the very basics of how to use a computer mouse.''

I do not mean to mock the class or the people using it. I know the hardest subjects to teach are the ones that appear obvious, because the whole point of teaching is to explain what is not obvious about a subject. And while I didn't (so far as I remember) touch a computer mouse until I reached the ancient age of 13, I absorbed the logic of how it works so well I honestly can't imagine how to teach it. So I would like to learn what thoughts people who don't know how to use a mouse bring to it. It's enlightening.

For example, when I taught for loops to a C class I explained that the program would execute everything in the brackets until the test condition was false. A homework problem where the code inside the brackets showed some thought --- reasonably, from the bad way I described the operations --- that as soon as the test condition was no longer true the loop would stop. I didn't know I was making the assumption that all the code inside the brackets would run before the test was executed again until I saw people who didn't know to make that assumption. So I'm curious what assumptions I internalize so automatically about the mouse.

Instead I do expect, Sunday, to make it to a Neil Innes performance at the county library headquarters. Somehow I'll try to make do.

Trivia: The first publicly declared customer for the Cataract Power and Conduit Company, which was to transmit electricity from the Niagara Falls Power Company to Buffalo, New York, was the Buffalo Street Railway Company, which wanted 1,000 horsepower, DC. Source: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes.

Currently Reading: The 1981 Annual World's Best SF, Editor Donald A Wollheim.