Not Too Old To Learn

Thursday, January 15, 2015

One is never too old to learn. I am convinced of that every day.

Just today I learned what a smash cake is. I'd never before heard that term. But I'm told that it is a miniature cake that accompanies a larger cake at a birthday party for the very young.

In this case, a one year old princess. That one candle smash cake was for her taste only. She was allowed to dip her fingers into the cake icing, then put it into her mouth any way she wanted to. By the time she finished, the small cake had been smashed, the icing all over her face and bib, while cameras flashed the momentous occasion. She ate with gusto, yet she had a quizzical look, as she watched all those silly adults wearing Mickey Mouse hats, watching her pulverize her cake with her bare fingers. Then the larger more decorative Mickey Mouse cake was sliced and served to the adults and their own children who attended the birthday of the honored one year old. With ice cream, of course.

Thus I learned what a smash cake is.

I learn something new every day, but I'm also aware of what I don't know. I watch these television shows that take us to marvelous countries and magnificent show places and I think about how little of the world I've seen or know about. Here I am in a small town, population about 4,000, and there's that huge world out there that I haven't seen and never will at this late stage.

But I'm learning to adjust in my ever changing world.

I have found that updating to an 8.1 software is a learning experience.

It's much different from my old Microsoft XP.

I run into words I'm not familiar with. Yesterday I was trying to send a letter to my granddaughter but the software wouldn't let me send it. It told me to "install an email program or create an association in the default programs control panel."

Well, I already have an email program so all I needed to do was set up the association in the default program. That ought to be easy. First I needed to find the control panel. I did that. Then it sent me to a chart where I had to decide which of about 50 programs I needed to go to.

Truth is, I didn't know what a default was. And here I was searching for it so that I could follow instructions.

Anyway, I got bogged down and gave up after several unsuccessful attempts.

I'm not happy with the word default.

I don't know how to text on my ancient cell phone but I receive texts from my daughter via her Smart phone all the time. She texts me and I receive it on my computer monitor. That's a technical experience that I enjoy.

Remember the little princess who smashed the smash cake? Well, she's learning, too. Her challenge is learning to walk. She took her first halting steps not long before Christmas.

At her birthday party last Sunday she was still trying. Learning sometimes takes several attempts. So she stands from a seated position, teeters, while she gets her footing, then she takes one step, then two, then three, into her mother's outstretched arms. The baby's face, so serious, then breaks into a big smile. She knows she has done something big. Everybody claps and she smiles even bigger.

She'll keep trying, learning to take more steps until she masters the art of walking, all across the room, and beyond.

So many new things she will learn, including how to say more than ma ma and da da.

No, one is never too old or too young to keep learning.

I learned what a smash cake is and the princess learned to take more steps.

That's life.