So yeah. It’s a super powerful program and mighty handy in many, many ways. I get that. It’s also picky as all gitout and if you don’t put something in EXACTLY right, it won’t work. I get that too. Problem is, I’m very much a “close enough” type person. If the recipe calls for a cup of milk and I have 3/4 cup, I’ll fill the extra 1/4 with water and call it “close enough”. If the pattern calls for 4 yards of fabric, and I have 3-3/4, I’ll squeeze it in there and call it “close enough”. In my opinion, recipes and patterns and directions for most anything are general suggestions and not absolute commands.
I never would have made it in the Military. One of us would have given in and it wouldn’t have been me.
So, now I’m dealing with a thing that requires absolute commands and the comma better be just right and NO EXTRA SPACES AND FOR GOSH SAKES DO NOT FORGET THAT CLOSE PARENTHESIS! and I’m kind of having a hard time with it.
Oh sure, the first unit, half of the entire semester, was spent learning how to make a spreadsheet pretty. I don’t know if they were trying to ease us into something before they hit us over the head with a giant anvil dropped from a cliff, or what. I’da preferred they started with the hard stuff, THEN taught us how to change the font and background. At least that way I wouldn’t get overconfident and all. I would have knuckled under and sucked it up (and other cliche’s about dealing with a thing) and then had a lovely respite while putting in backgrounds and underlining Total columns.
But they never asked me. No one ever does (pout). (this is me, not spooling up into a loud and loquacious whine about being taken for granted and how I am expected to be prepared for any situation at all times and why doesn’t anyone ever take care of ME for a change, etc)
But I digress.
Excel…I mean…this program we are using to apparently LEARN Excel, is so incredibly tooky (that’s Southern and it’s kind of a blend of fussy, particular, picky, and stubborn) and it won’t accept anything other than EXACTLY what the programmer put in there to accept, NO EXCEPTIONS. And, most of the formuli can be entered in myriad ways (so, if they aren’t going to accept the myriad ways of entering, then why is it programmed to be able to USE myriad ways? Hm? Answer me that.) then WHY does the learning program only accept ONE way of entering it, and one has to go through the litany of ways before happening upon the Proper One, and because one is tired and frustrated, one NEVER remembers WHICH ONE IT WAS. By the time it tells me I put in the right one, the right one IS NO LONGER DISPLAYED so I can’t even screenshot it as a reference.
And the problem, really, (for me) is that I am now a couple of chapters behind and that GRIPES MY GUT. I’ve been youtubing (I love how that’s a verb now) tutorials and I found an excellent series done by this young Indian guy and because it has subtitles, I can stop it and do the step…but still. This is really…outside my comfort zone.
Which, I know,I know, it’s good to step outside one’s comfort zone because that’s how we learn and grow. But, this muddy pit outside my flower-lined bread-baking comfort zone is a messy place and feels gross on my toes. And it’s tracking on my psychological floor. If I could get someone to sit down right here, and say “ok, put this is here, and this is why you want to do that” I think I’d have an easier time of it. But, what the tutorial program does is say “Do this complicated thing using nested =If, =And, =Or, with these 4 parameters, and YOU’D BETTER DO IT THE RIGHT WAY OR THE WHOLE PAGE WILL TURN ORANGE AND TAKE OUT AN AD IN THE LOCAL PAPER TELLING EVERYONE IN TOWN WHAT A LOSER YOU ARE” all that with an unpleasant sound. And people wonder why I sit in the back of the room.
I’ve been wrestling with it since 8(it’s now 10:30) with only a break for a piece of toast, and am making NO progress at all. I’ve gone back through each lesson carefully until I could do them without any reference to the book, and then the end-of-chapter quiz, I get 1/3 the way through and this dour voice…I can see her head in one hand and the other hand waving around as she says a disgusted “NO NO…NOT LIKE THAT.” because the tasks on the quiz are markedly different from the ones in the tutorials.
I know. I’m going on and on about it. This afternoon will be a pleasant break from it. I’m taking #4, a friend, and another friend to The Place With The Therapeutic Hamburgers, and then on to an old church in South Carolina to have #4’s Senior Pictures taken. The other 3 boys weren’t interested in such foolishness, but #4 loves him foolishness and also has a delightful flair for the dramatic. Mom got him a Suit…not just ANY suit, but a fine, fine handsewn kilt, Prince Charlie coat and vest, and all the swag to go with. Pictures forthcoming, I guarantee it.
But until then, Excel and I are going to have a Come to Jesus moment. I’ma go all Highlander if it doosn’t fall in line.