I’ve been using Microsoft Word in some capacity for around 16 years now. I was introduced to it in my middle school’s computer lab, along with Oregon Trail, Number Muncher, and Spellevator. While I tragically no longer use those latter three first ballot members of the ‘90s Kid Software Hall of Fame on a daily basis, I continued using Word throughout my academic career and into my professional career, and still use it all the time. Why, I’m using it right now to type these here words. As far as I remember, nobody ever really gave me truly formal instruction on it; it was just something you kind of picked up growing up, like how to properly eat an Oreo or use pogs.
That’s all well and good for me, but there are plenty of people whose formative years didn’t coincide with the proliferation of home computing. For those folks, learning to use Word and other computer programs isn’t something that just happened naturally growing up, so unless they have made active efforts to familiarize themselves with those programs, their exposure may be limited or nonexistent. It’s for these neophytes to bits and bytes that the library is now proudly offering computer classes every Wednesday at 5 PM, taught by yours truly. The classes are hands on, meaning attendees actually use the application being taught as they follow along with me to complete a basic exercise. Each class covers a different topic, which as of now are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Internet/E-mail (I’m willing to change/add topics based on what the people demand). For full details, click here.
If you’re a true beginner (I realize that’s unlikely if you’re reading this, but maybe there’s someone in your life who is) or looking to brush up on your skills, come out to a class. I can’t make you an expert, but hopefully you’ll pick up some useful tidbits and, just as importantly, build your confidence. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that years from now when I ripen in age, the youth of today will offer free classes on all of the inevitable innovations of the coming years that will be second nature to them but will undoubtedly confuse and terrify me.