Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
TITLE: SHREWD SENESCENCE
By Lillian Rhoades
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With little time to waste before her aide arrived to give her a bath and to prepare breakfast, Minnie, holding on to her walker, shuffled slowly to the bathroom.
Today was the big test. She must not be late.
Precisely at 7:00 a.m. she heard the lock turn, the door open and close, and familiar footsteps move swiftly towards her.
The day Rosie’s late that’s the day I’m sure to leave this earth.
The grandfather clock barely finished striking its half-hour chime when Minnie, with Rosie bringing up the rear, made her way towards the computer classroom located near the main dining hall on the first floor.
Good, I’m early. No one has taken my seat.
With a promise to return once class ended, Rosie slipped off to get in some early Christmas shopping.
Within a few minutes the room began to fill with students. Some stopped at Minnie’s chair just to give her a high-five. Others greeted her with, “Hi Minnie, how ya been?” Minnie always smiled as each student passed by, and no matter how painful it was, always raised her gnarled right hand in response.
It’s a good thing this is the last day of class, or I’d have to put on a boxing glove.
The room continued to fill, and all around her Minnie could hear snippets of conversation. Why not? She had recently upgraded her hearing aid.
“Our Senior’s Group got back late from a week-end retreat. I’m beat.”
“I’m SO excited. Tonight’s our fortieth anniversary, and John’s taking me out to dinner.”
“Hey June, I forgot. What time did we plan to meet for Bible study?”
Finally, the door opened and the instructor walked briskly to the desk in front of the room.
“Today,” he said, is the day when each of you will be given a chance to put into practice what you’ve learned during the last four weeks. Please turn on your computers."
Minnie reached for the button on her computer and waited for the computer to boot up.
The instructor continued. “Just like you did in your practice session, you must write a seventy-five word e-mail with an attachement. You will be judged on how long it takes you to finish and send the letter. Please do not begin until I give the signal."
At the count of three, the clicking began. Minnie’s arthritic fingers went straight to work.
She opened her AOL to the e-mail page. Her heart raced faster than her fingers moved.
The other day, you asked if there were any computers where Santa lives. I’m not sure, but I’m sending him this letter, since you’re too young to write. In case there are no computers in Santa Land, I’ve asked him to watch out for my handwritten note. I’m sure Mom will read this letter to you. I’ve attached a copy of the Christmas Wish List I sent to Santa for you.
Minnie quickly moved her mouse to the attachment icon, waited for the file to come up, clicked on OPEN, and checked to see that the file was attached. With a deep sigh of relief, she clicked SEND, and raised her weathered hand to indicate she was finished.
All eyes turned in Minnie’s direction. She could hear the whispers.
“How did she DO that?”
As each student signaled they were finished, the instructor placed their time on the blackboard.
Minnie, at eighty-five (oldest student in the class was sixty), topped the list.
How DID she do it?
Minnie and Rosie waited until most of the students had filed out. Then Minnie grasped her walker and headed towards the door. Just then, the instructor, Mr Peabody, approached her.
“Good job, Minnie. Uh, how did you get done so fast?” Minnie held fast to her walker, and stood as tall as she could.
“Why Mr. Peabody,” she said with a wink. “You said ‘just like we did in practice session.’ So, I decided to send the same letter, and simply clicked on DRAFTS.”
Mr. Peabody’s jaws dropped as he stared incredulously at Minnie.
“Why, of course, Ms. Minnie, of course.”
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