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May 2, 2005 - Monday

 Overthinking

I had a real “duh” moment in a Word class I was teaching the other day.

I was going over tabs: how to set them, use them, different types, etc. And then I went off on one of my patented tangents and started talking about how a quick way to indent an entire paragraph was to drag the “Left Indent” box on the ruler. Not really tab related, but sort of in the same genre — if I’m training it. Then one of the students interrupted me to ask how to indent just the first line of a paragraph.

Easy answer, right? Uh, no. Not for me, not on that day.

I was right in the middle of tangenting off into formatting paragraphs in a manner only vaguely related to tabs, so I had paragraphs, not tabs, on the brain. And my mind immediately jumped to Format/ Paragraph/ Indentation/ Special and the various options there, and seized on “hanging indent.” Which a split second later I realized does the exact opposite so it wasn’t really an answer. And then I quickly mentally inventoried the other options there and realized none did this weird “indent just the first line” thing this student was asking about. This all took place over the course of about 2 seconds. And I was, for just a moment, stumped.

Then another student offered, “Couldn’t you just hit the Tab key?”

Hey, I’m honest, I ‘fessed up: “Um. Yeah, that’ll do it. Sure. If you want the easy way.”

It was a good reminder to KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid. Knowing all the advanced features doesn’t mean you have to use them for everything. Sometimes all you need is one simple key that does exactly what it says it does — they have names on them for a reason. And it took a beginning level student to remind me of that.

That was probably my biggest training Duuuuuuh moment ever. I felt like an idiot. And of course I’m sharing it with the world (or at least the eleventeen people who read me). I must be an idiot.


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 A Meme by MeMe

I just invented a new meme for the blogosphere. I think I’ll call it the Lucky Clipboard meme. Let’s see if it catches on:

Go to Google. Paste whatever’s on your clipboard right now into the search box and click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Report your result IN YOUR OWN BLOG. (Sorry, but everyone’s been reporting their results HERE. How is my meme supposed to achieve world domination if it isn’t spread by posting about it in YOUR blogs?)

I got the BBC’s Teletubbies page. (Don’t ask.)


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About Me

Banned from Burbank.

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