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You’ve Got ALL The Skills

, , , , , | Related | May 11, 2022

Back when I was still going to college, over a decade ago, I was visiting my family during winter break and had been traveling somewhere with my father when he asked me if we could stop by the American Legion — a bar/restaurant for American veterans where my father volunteered — on our way back home.

My father originally left me at the bar so he could do some work, but between my not liking the bar scene and everyone there being fifty or older, I grew bored quite fast and eventually went to investigate what was taking so long.

I found my father in front of a computer modifying some sort of document, and it was painful to watch. He was hunting and pecking at the keyboard at a painstakingly slow rate, and after watching a little, I realized he was retyping the same few sentences over and over again with only minor differences.

Me: “You know, you could just copy and paste that.”

Father: “Huh?”

Me: “You know, Control-C and Control-V?”

My father just looked at me like I was speaking in tongues. So, rather than explain, I asked if I could have his mouse. He was in the way of the keyboard, so rather than using the usual hotkeys, I highlighted the section he wanted to copy and then clicked and dragged the highlighted section down, which also copy and pasted the section where I dropped it.

Father: “Oh, wow! I didn’t know you could do that!”

I went on to show him such amazing concepts as the fact that he could double-click on a word and then start typing to automatically delete the word and replace it with what he was typing.

My father finished his chore of modifying the document a little while later and I rejoiced at finally leaving the Legion. However, I still remember his last comment as we were leaving.

Father: “I never knew you were so good with computers.”

I’d been telling everyone I planned to be a programmer since before I was seven. I set up and maintained the computers at our home for years before leaving for college, I’d created — and shown my father — multiple web pages and programs already, I’d already been promised an internship with one of the largest tech companies, and I would be building my own operating system from scratch for a class the next semester. But more impressive than all of that, at least according to my father, was that I knew how to copy and paste!

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