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  • Nancy Spear

I could tell they were a happy bunch.

A few weeks ago, I was hired to teach two sets of in-laws how to use their iPhones. Their respective son and daughter asked me to teach the four of them together.

Before our meeting, I asked the son what they wanted to learn. He gave me a range of functions starting from texting, to how to use Facebook, and uploading photos. I knew that was a lot to get to with four people in just one hour. I channeled Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” and thought, “We’ll start at the very beginning, a very good place to start….” Sometimes the most advanced students don’t know all the basics.

I went over to their house, knowing they had just had lunch with the grandkids. I heard laughter when I approached the front door. I could tell they were a happy bunch.

The day before, I had texted them that I was looking forward to our meeting. Knowing they had my text, we started by learning how to add a new contact: Me. Then they added each other’s contacts. Pretty soon, one mother-in-law was texting the other while a father-in-law texted his granddaughter in the other room. We called each other, left voicemails, and retrieved them. And, sure enough, the father-in-law who wanted to know more advanced functions asked, “What is this ‘Favorites’?” pointing to the bottom left corner of his phone functions. We then learned how to send a photo and text an emoji.

Our hour went by quickly. They were happy and so was I.

The following day, I received an email from the son: “You are a saint. They LOVED it...”

Wow, I wouldn’t say I was a saint, but Maria von Trapp’s advice surely helped.

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