A New Hobby

Taiwan Bely Chinn is not your typical computer enthusiast. Born in China in 1933, she was already a senior when she immigrated to America. However, she was interested in making computers a larger part of her life, but lacked the necessary skills to make the most out of them. Then she heard about CISC’s Community Technology Center, where she could learn basic computer skills in her native language, from sending e-mails to typing with Chinese characters.

After attending the open computer lab and a few free workshops, Bely started to become a regular at the Technology Center. She says that spending time in the CISC computer classes not only helps her understand computers better, but is actually more fun and interesting than going shopping, visiting a casino, or watching TV all day. Rather than wasting time and money with any of those hobbies, she says she can learn important skills that enrich her life and allow her to keep in better touch with her friends and family.

In addition to learning how to stay in contact with her family through e-mail, she has been able to create some of her own projects and share what is happening in her life. For example, she learned how to use and organize digital pictures, and created a video documentary from family photographs. She made a DVD of that slideshow, which her family was delighted to watch. She has also become interested in sharing electronic postcards with friends and family. They are dispersed throughout North America, and so rarely have the chance to meet with Bely in person.

Bely admits that in her old age she sometimes forgets the material she has learned, but it has never stopped her from coming to the Technology Center and brushing up on her skills. She has been a regular for years, and recommends the Center to all of her friends. If they are anything like Bely, they just might end up with a new favorite hobby.

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