Playing The Part Of The Teacher

One woman wanted to know how to rid herself of Facebook friends that appeared after a visit by her niece. The group now knows about ‘unfriending.’

I wish you could all come and visit my parents’ condo complex. It’s summer camp for the retired. It’s a non-judgmental environment where everyday is Saturday… or Sunday, but with Monday off on a three day weekend. Whatever you want to do is OK with everyone else.

Every Tuesday my dad teaches the beginners computer class in the clubhouse. You’re reading a blog so you’re probably somewhat tech savvy. These people are keyboard neophytes though they’re in their 70s, 80s and even 90s!

Yeah Yetta, I’m talking to you!

If I’m down here on a Tuesday I come in and take over. My dad enjoys it. I do too.

Today my lesson was cautionary.

“Nothing on the Internet is truly anonymous,” I told them and proceeded to talk cookies and IP addresses and other bits of techno minutiae.

I looked up the name of one of the students. Quickly Google revealed an SEC filing where he was given $500,000 in a covenant not-to-compete. Everyone else was impressed. He was slow to admit the filing was about him.

One woman wanted to know how to rid herself of Facebook friends that appeared after a visit by her niece. The group now knows about ‘unfriending.’

They all want to see pictures from home. They want to see the grandkids or in some cases the great grandkids!

The woman who’d asked about her niece’s Facebook friends was disturbed her computer remembered all the websites she’d visited. I showed her how to clean the history. They’re hiding stuff even in their eighties.

Online actions that are probably second nature to you are being experienced for the first time by them!

They have seen the introduction of TV and microwaves and cellphones and now computers. They are not afraid to embrace what’s new. They just need someone to help.

14 thoughts on “Playing The Part Of The Teacher”

  1. Hi Geoff,
    I think it is great that you got to teach everyone about computers. You are a great teacher, and that is because you have a deep passion for it. I am sure they learned alot from you tonight and are greatful for it. I know you have taught me alot, whether it be the weather or photography!! I have great respect for you and you knowledge, and I look forward to learning so much more from you. I hope you have a wonderful vacation with you family, and looking forward to your return. Enjoy your teaching and feel confident that your students are enjoying their lessons from a great teacher. I wish you only the best life has to offer!!
    Best Regards,

  2. How wonderful that your Dad teaches a beginner computer class!! Sounds like paradise down there…..
    Thanks for sharing your visit with us Geoff! As always an interesting story to be told……..and you share SO well!

  3. Before my heart attack and eventual disabilities, I worked at an assisted living facility cooking. I LOVED IT. It was only part time but I found myself (much to my own disbelief) enjoying the daylights out of it. Even the constant complaining about something could not cloud the joy I got out of it. Enjoy the teaching.

  4. Isn’t it great working with seniors? I’m an instructional technology teacher in one of Connecticut’s elementary schools and my biggest “aha moments” come not from my students (who have used technology since in utero), but my 75 year old stepmother. She emails, Skypes, and Facebooks. We gave her an iPad for Christmas and there’s no stopping her now that she’s discovered apps! Computers are a great way for seniors to keep in touch, connect with others, and stay involved with their children’s and grandchildren’s busy lives. Hats off to your Dad for sharing that knowledge! Looks like they have a great lab setup!

    Sorry you’re missing the biggest “dump” of the season!

  5. Well, now I am officially jealous, as I sit here contemplating going out and cleaning up the mountain of snow we received in CT. Looks like a very nice time to visit your folk Geoff, for many reasons.

    I have been meaning to write here, about the whole losing your job issue. I think it stinks on mnay levels. I have paid a lot of attention to news/weather on not only News8, but other channels as I plan my exit from 8, if Geoff exits (I still hold some hope). This is a horrible mistake, for News8 and will probably end in the station being sold to another company, that can maybe make it profitable. Which in the end, may be a good thing, because Geoff may be part of that.

    In watching all this weather/news, I have come to realize how good Geoff really is, I think we all took him a little for granted. The forecasts from the others are just not the same. Jeff’s fill in (Steve V.) is a rookie at best, but I do feel bad for him, as he may be in the top 10 hated people in CT right now (how dare he try to fill Geoff’s shoes). As I prepared for the storm and made my plans (work or not, etc.), I found his forecast, just that, a forecast…….no details, about, when, where, why and how, all informative and the other details Geoff always adds, that are very helpful. Now I truly miss Geoff and he’s not even gone.

    Well, let’s all just hope, because I think many will agree, this sample of NEW8 without Geoff is awful! I do applaud the anchors who made a point of introducing Steve as “in for Geoff Fox” just about every time, which is not always the case.

    I would welcome someone to post this on the Save Geoff facebook page (you have my permission), as I am not a facebooker. I tend to agree with Betty White, “it’s a huge waste of time”.

    Geoff, good luck with whatever you do and if you “really” do go, we will miss you.

  6. I think working with “age endowed” folks is magnificent! As a nurse, caring for the elderly is a special bonus and you learn so much from them in return! I bet it’s a lot of fun when they “get it!” (and I also bet there is a lot of laughing in that class!!!)

  7. Geoff, glad you are enjoying time with your folks. We are jealous you are in such nice temps as compared to here. You are missing one heck of a storm…I think it’s the worst in AGES. There is so much snow everywhere, no where to put it and even the roofs have unbelievable amounts. My Mom (previously known as the weather watcher) and I keep saying, this is one of the worst times not to have Geoff here and we cannot imagine what the future may bring when you are not forecasting for us. I have gotten a few good responses from advertisers, so of course, we are clinging to hope that that will change.

  8. I know exactly how you feel. When Money over takes loyalty in any business, it is only a matter of time for the industry to start to go down the tube. I was employed for 39 years, progressing to middle management ( Asst. Manager of Quality Assurance ) and laid off on a Monday morning. My position and responsibilities were either eliminated or transferred to a division out of state. Additional lay-offs have continued and the moral of remaining employees have started to Slide down hill. While I have continued to watch Channel 8, after reading about the changes, I will more then likely change my viewing habits

  9. Geoff,
    I taught beginning computer and internet skills to older people who lived in low-income housing neighborhood. What fun it was! I was most proud of a little program I found that was practice for using the mouse. It was a little “shoot the robot” thing where you could adjust the speed and it was great for older hands that had never touched a mouse before.

    There’s a lot of snow here in Gales Ferry. When I told my Dad, Larry Gorham (he’s talked to you on the phone, oh and he and my step-mom just came BACK from FL!), about your current job situation, he said, “What?! How can we have a snow storm without Geoff Fox?!” I must admit I missed your cheerful face on the t.v., too, during the storm tracking. But, guess I’ll have to get used to that…..:(


  10. Geoff, Say it isn’t so, We need you. I can not stand watching WTNH without you. I have heard rumors that you may no longer be working for WTNH, what is going on?

  11. Geoff,
    I’ve started following your blog since the day it was announced that you were leaving, knowing that I would also leave WTNH as a viewer. Today the day of the big snow, I carefully checked out all CT channels watching the meteorologists. The biggest loser, IMO, was ch 8 except for Dr. Mel. Ch3 and Fox News Ch6 will probably become my choice but there is no comparison without your expertise, knowledge and humor. Thanks for all the enjoyable years. We’ve watched you from the beginning.
    Also thanks for sharing the great video of your parents. I just watched it. They’re beautiful people. Enjoy your vacation in FL and CA. We’ll return to WTNH when you come back just for the weather and then it’s good-bye to them forever.

  12. As a follow up to my prior post, while I was cleaning up the mountain of snow we got, what is missing in our forecasts this week was stated in an email Geoff received from a high school senior, “class”

  13. You have been an excellent teacher to all of the thousands of viewers of WTNH. You and Dr. Mel have emparted alot of information to us over the yrs and I, along with those thousands that have posted to facebook, the WTNH blogs (look at Marc Davis’ posting that somehow started receiving comments about you) and even to LIN Media, have appreciated it, thoroughly. And although you think “you’re not Betty White”, look where those numbers got her!!! Please let us know what else we can do, or at least, let us know where we can find you after Feb.

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