March 13th, 2006

jon with tequila

Urge... to kill... RISING...

Teaching today was very, very aggravating. Usually the case when I teach Photoshop. I'm always so excited about teaching it at first, because it's a really cool class where you learn a lot about graphics programs and image manipulation. And, because it's not a basic piece of software, I can expect my students to be on the ball about your usual Windows operations. Which, 90% of the rest of the time I teach, I can't expect at all.

But, invariably, my hopes for a smooth, fun class are utterly crushed. This is because I tend to get two types of students in Photoshop. The first type doesn't know how the fuck to operate a computer, much less perform complex operations in Photoshop, and I honestly have no clue how they get it in their heads to try to pick up this program before they've mastered the delicate nuances of something like Notepad. Today's winnar, in particular, didn't know how to save a file, and didn't understand how you could have two files open in Photoshop simultaneously ("If I open this one, won't it close the other one?").

The second type of student comes to class with a friend. This, on its own, isn't a problem. It becomes a problem when they want to chatter with said friend all fucking day, right over what I'm saying. Aside from the obvious rudeness inherent therein, normal operations in Photoshop require a lot of steps executed in a precise order. Invariably, with any operation I demonstrate, I have to repeat said operation at least twice because one of these geniuses misses what I say the first time around.

So, instead of being able to show people Steps 1-X of a feature and then be like, "How cool is this?! Let's look at something else that's cool!", the process of teaching goes more like this:

1) Start explaining Step 1 (while other people are chattering). They don't shut up no matter how high I raise my voice, so fuck it, I keep going.
2) One of the Chatty Kathys misses what I say. Repeat explanation of Step 1 (while other other people decide they don't know how to STFU).
3) No "huh?"s or "Could you repeat that?"s. Cruelly deluded into thinking Step 1 was understood, launch into explanations of Steps 2-X.
4) In the midst of Step 4, someone asks me to repeat Step 2.
5) The winnar wants to know why he can't do something I showed how to do much earlier in the day. Walk over to his computer and show it to him FOR THE EIGHTH GODDAMN TIME.
6) Someone else has a problem operating their mouse, or some other bullshit like that.
7) Try to go back and get through to Step X, then recap all the steps in between because by now, the people who'd been paying attention the whole time were probably duped by all the interruptions into thinking it's a much more complicated process than it really is.

And this cycle repeats. ALL. DAY. LONG.

This is why, when teaching Photoshop, I find myself wanting to light someone on fire every hour on the hour. Teaching much more rudimentary courses, like Excel or Word, don't usually elicit this response because you go in expecting those people to be idiots. But people learning Photoshop are supposed to be above this crap! GARRRGH!

At any rate, there was a positive in all this in that I came home and blew off some steam in the form of shadowboxing and an assload of situps. I really need to get back into an exercise regimen. I need the stress release now more than ever, and I certainly wouldn't mind regaining the kind of muscle I had back in my martial arts days.
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