From: Mercedes Monaco
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 17 Oct 1996
Remote Name: lang-lab-mac38.ucsc.edu
Edgar, 6 year old boy, Eugene (the prof), David, age 21?, Maurice 23?
I spent most of the day with Edgar. He was extremely personable. When I arrived Edgar was seated at a computer playing Hero. I had never seen this game before so I just sat down to watch him. He enjoyed the game and I watched him make mistakes and die, and come back the next time avoiding the mistakes. He usually knew when he was doing something to keep him from dying and always smiled while doing. ie: When you move the guy under a bolder, the boulder falls, which can kill you. After discovering this Edgar would move right up to the boulder, then look at me smiling, and try to move the guy as quickly as possible under the boulder so as not to die. He had this move down well and was always excited after he got out of it alive. I think that was his favorite part of the game. He was moving the little man around, going after the hearts, when all of a sudden some error type screen came up. Eugene told me he had just loaded the game and for some reason the mouse didn't work so we couldn't click the button we needed. So, we restarted the computer and the game. After about three tries David showed us what to do and it was all better. (Thank you David). The amazing thing was that Edgar was great through out the whole thing. When his computer was being re-booted, or having problems, he would just watch the kid playing a game next to him. He and I had bad luck that day. The C.D. computer stopped working for us and Maurice and another guy from Barrios Unidos tried to fix it, but it didn't work. Edgar just sat there watching them. He never got upset and after they left he asked if we could restart it one more time to see if it would work and even though I knew it wouldn't I told him how to restart it so he could participate in it all. It didn't work, so he just moved on to play jacks at another computer
I had a great time working with Edgar mostly because he was so calm. If he had known the phrase I'm sure he would have said repeatedly, "Its all good." If something didn't work he'd find a new way of entertaining himself. This had a great effect on me. Normally, kids get anxious and annoyed and I feel like I have to do something, which makes me anxious too. This time I could be as calm as Edgar.
How is it that a six year old can be so relaxed and flexible when so many of the other kids are not?