Technology is our friend, right? That’s what I’ve always heard anyway. Given a recent experience, I may reserve judgment for a while.
Like many of you, one of my favorite activities in the world is sitting through a Continuing Education course for my securities license. I’m always game when it comes to expanding my extensive knowledge base — if I don’t have anything better to do. Well, my firm recently gave me a date and a time when, apparently, I didn’t have anything better to do.
With my appointment to study firmly in ink, I slowly drove to my local Sylvan Learning Center to dabble in some good old-fashioned computer-based learning. It had been a while since I entered one of these establishments, and, by the looks of the place, they hadn’t upgraded the computers since the last time I was there.
The computers were big old boxes, and the monitors were anything but flat and sleek. The monitor at my workstation actually filled me with nostalgia — it was the exact same size of the first car I ever had, a 1968 Chevy Impala.
My first job was to sign in with the pimply-faced manager. He handed me a highly coveted No. 2 lead pencil and some blank paper for notes. He then sat me in front of the Impala and showed me how to start the thing. In a matter of minutes, I would be cruising down the learning highway.
I asked him how many right answers I had to get to pass. Mr. Pimples looked right at me and said, “It doesn’t matter. If you get a wrong answer you can guess again.” (At that moment, I knew my oldest son would have a career in financial services.) I then began to calculate how long it would take to simply select every answer before the question was read. If my ciphering was correct, I could be finished in 43 seconds.