Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Senior Cat is learning a new language -

or perhaps I should just say a new vocabulary. He has a new i-pad. This sort of technology is not his "thing". He doesn't understand how it works and that bothers him. He likes to know how things work. 
He understands his woodworking tools. He knows how the illusions work in a conjuring trick. He has an understanding of many other things. He is still smart at almost 93. If I am half as smart at ten years younger than that I will be doing well. 
But, the i-pad has him puzzled. Why does it work when he presses a point on the screen?
I don't know enough about it to explain. Brother Cat's explanation over the phone just confused him even more. My BIL is an engineer and the response from him was much too detailed. It left the Senior Cat sighing in frustration. Middle Cat just said, "Does it matter? Just use it."
My nephews have not been around to explain. Youngest Nephew would probably have done an excellent job of explaining. Unfortunately he lives in a neighbouring state. 
So, this morning, after a meeting, a friend of his is coming to explain some finer points of using the device. He has quietly promised me that he will explain, in simple terms, how the device works. He should be able to do this. He was a teacher until he retired. 
But it was all a timely reminder for me. I had a request a couple of days ago. Someone asked for help in setting up an explanation of how something works for a group of people who are illiterate. He first had to explain to me. He's also an engineer. His explanation was long and convoluted. It ran to three and a half paragraphs. Even then it was not clear. I finally resorted to looking up some information and went back to him with a one paragraph "is this what  you are trying to say?"
He agreed it was. I have sent the information on to someone who draws illustrations for such things and suggested what might work. She will come up with a short series of simple pictures that will make it very plain indeed. 
It is a long way from three and a half paragraphs of convoluted language. I hope the Senior Cat's friend can manage the same sort of illustrations. 

1 comment:

jeanfromcornwall said...

It is a very nice judgement as to how to express something to a person who is not fluent in the jargon.
I had a reverse example during my last stay in hospital - an unpleasantly pompous young doctor talked to me as though I was eight, and, when asked, said it was "in my interest" to take a particuar drug. So much for informed consent!
Good luck to Senior Cat in his quest for knowledge!