Barbara Ann Moyer, 77, doesn't let little things like age or neuropathy, a nerve-damaging condition, isolate her from the rest of the world. She keeps the windows uncovered in her Silver Spring home so she can see the activity outside even from her wheelchair. She's making an effort to keep in touch electronically, too.
This spring, Moyer took an introductory computer class at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring. "I felt like I was lacking something," she said.
This fall, the center is offering similar classes to acquaint seniors with computers by having them type a letter, said class instructor Louis Mastrobattista, a retired computer programmer for IBM.
Mastrobattista's hope: "That [participants] can go home and not be intimidated by this box or screen or this keyboard," he said, or be unnerved by the often-unfamiliar computer mouse. One mouse exercise to quell unease: playing solitaire. This gives participants the chance to practice clicking and dragging skills while playing a game they know, he said. And, by the last class, Mastrobattista anticipates he'll at least familiarize the group with e-mail and Internet applications.
"Introduction to Computer" classes meet from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for four weeks beginning Sept. 14 at the Margaret Schweinhaut Center, 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring. To register or learn more, call 301-681-1255. The fee is $25 for eight classes; space is limited.
-- Samantha Ganey