I have the humbling experience these days of working with someone for whom riffling through a computer setup is as natural as braiding a child's hair or tying a shoe or knitting an Aran sweater is to me: second nature, once you understand what's going on.
She has taken two computers that I work on, eliminated programs I don't use, consolidated files, tripled available memory, installed the appropriate software so I can do the same tasks on either machine, depending on which is available, and a bunch of other stuff.
It took less than an hour, and she wasn't even frowning, much less swearing.
I sometimes think that "second nature" deserts you past 50, as far as new things are concerned. Perhaps I should simply assume my own rendition of the attitude of my former husband, who maintained that he never worried about learning to spell because he knew that he always would have a secretary.
Perhaps I can get by with what I've taught myself about word processing, databases and spreadsheets -- knowing that there always may be someone to help, or that I can do it by hand and calculator, or that I really don't need that particular spin on the data after all.
What do I need to put aside, at this point in my life, to have the time and attention to learn a technology on whose cusp I was born but which I didn't take personally until too late?
One thing I know I will not put aside is an openness to travel at any opportunity, given the time and the resources.
Those of similar persuasion may be interested in St. John's Travel Program's inaugural trip to Jerusalem this fall.
From Oct. 26 to Nov. 5, the group will visit the historical, religious, and cultural highlights of the region, meet with St. John's alumni living in Israel and study history, religion, politics and the way of life in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Sightseeing opportunities include excursions to Masada and the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jericho, Nazareth and the Galilee.
Seminars during the trip will be led by Robert Druecker, a tutor at St. John's since 1977. A focus of the program will be the worlds of the Arabs, Israelis and the two together.
For more information on dates, deadlines, fees, and opportunities, call Pamela McKee in the St. John's Advancement Office, at 626-2506.
There's something magic about music outdoors on a summer night, and there are four more nights of magic in the Summer Serenade series by the Naval Academy Band, free and open to the public at City Dock.
The jazz ensemble Next Wave will perform tomorrow. The Wind Ensemble Alumni Concert will be Aug. 1. The contemporary rock ensemble Electric Brigade is scheduled for Aug. 8, and the Wind Ensemble's Grand Finale Concert is scheduled Aug. 15.
The rain date for the final concert is Aug. 17.