--- a project of the maricopa center for learning & instruction (mcli)
maricopa community colleges
--- http://

questions? write to

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 22:39:52 +0000
From: Jon Lea & Bob Hetzel <jonfbobh@brainy1.ie-eg.com>
Subject: Egypt Calling!

Myth Busters!!!! Come to the ancient land of pharoahs and pyramids, of mystery and superstition and learn that there is NO mystery to computers and "the Web." Of course you have been saying it was easy all along, but you were just a techie in geologists clothing.

One of my greatest insights over hear has been a better understanding of technology and its capabilities, at least in my life and profession.

I have always learned what I needed to know to be professionally competent on the computer. I kept up with the latest software programs for careers and counseling, learned internet and web so that I could use them in class and organizationally and learned enough about word processing and "office" technology to get my job done and delegate other projects in a somewhat knowledgeable manner.

What was interesting to me was the general feeling that I was never competent enough, that there must be more to this (and of course there always is more, more, more, more). We need books like MAC for DUMMIES to help explain how to do all of these complicated things. There is a whole lingo that develops, URL, FAX, MEGABYTES, CIA, MBA that continues to perpetuate the complexity.

Then I move to Egypt and buy a computer (thanks to the encouragement of this little project), all the while thinking I don't know anything. What I realized is the major ingredient is not intelligence, technological background or training, it is TIME. By reading about the set up of my computer and setting it up myself, I learned more about the parts and pieces, than hours of training could have talked about in "theory." Experiential learning wins again!

Because I have had some time on my hands, I have had the luxury of reading several DUMMY books and coaching myself on some fine-tuning skills for word-processing, graphics and internet. In the past whenever we would get a new computer or get a software upgrade, it would just magically appear on my desk and in my computer. Usually in the middle of the semester, when the demands of my real job, counseling, were in full bloom. As a result, I would limp along with a few bandaids to get through, all the while believing that the upgrade would be more complicated or difficult and feeling like I was losing ground.

With time and permission to play, computers are a blast and a god-send. With encouragement from people like you that keep reminding that this isn't brain surgery, I am inspired to continue to figure out all the gadgets and gizmos (new computer terminology) that are attached to my computer. Even though I purchased an "outdated" Performa, it does more than I can use right now.

I regularly "surf the Web" and everytime I learn something new, I marvel at the simplicity of it all. Maybe I am a born again computer nerd but I believe that much of the lingo and continual upgrading, lead to people misunderstanding the uses and simplicity of it all. There also is so much to learn if you feel you have to know it all, but the day to day uses are quite simple and quite adequate for most. Since I love the computer as a tool and a communication device, I am separated from those that adore it and worship each new piece of equipment and software package.

So after that long stream of electronic consciousness, I have discovered nothing new......TIME, PLAY and PRACTICE are what is needed to make computers a valuable tool in one's (my) life.

I am ready for phase 1 1/2....I have this piece of equipment that looks like a microphone. I have a phone jack and modem. I have speakers and fax capabilities. What do I need to do to send you pictures ( hopefully that isn't something I need a bigger computer for)? My goal when I return is to be computer fearless.....I am computer wise hear me techno babble! And may I never forget my humble origins, when I naively believed that the computer works for us and not vice versa. Okay, okay I am off of my soapbox or at least computer packing crate.

Well that is the end of my computer wisdom. I have to toodle off to an oasis and go bird-watching and practice my arabic. Virtual life is fun but the real thing is much more satisfying and spectacular.

In next weeks edition, I will describe an incredible coral reef adventure and Sinai Wildlife Project.

Note: This web site was originally published at
but is no longer there.