FN#6 :draft#1:Random clicking, ignoring me

From: David Scott
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 10/30/96
Date: 01 Nov 1996
Time: 03:45:53
Remote Name: tsa-04.ucsc.edu



Manuela and her girlfriend, both about 10.


Last Friday was another frustrating day at BU. I think only about six kids came, so I didn't have anyone to play with. :( I tried to install some more programs that I had brought with me, but 75% of them don't work because of problems and limitations with the BU computers (same old story there).

My one attempt at engaging some children in some type of activity is when I saw two girls, Manuela and her friend, running around and fighting with each other. They were laughing and obviously enjoying how they were abusing one another, but I thought I would try to get them to do something with less potential for bloodshed. I started to talk to them, but they basically ignored me except to say that they were “having fun” in defense of my trying to break them up. They kept moving away from me. Since they were so interested in beating on each other, I thought I would teach them a little Aikido. Again, they weren’t interested, so I gave up and did something else for awhile.

Later Manuela sat down in front of a computer with “Snoopy’s Campfire Stories”. I was watching her as she tried unsucesfully several times to get the game started. She had looked around the room several times and seen my oberving her. I wanted to wait and see if she would ask me for help because I have the feeling that this girl doesn’t like me. After another minute or so of trying, she finally looked at me and kept looking without saying a word. After a moment I asked her if she would like some help, and she said yes.

All Manuela needed to do to get the program running was to go to the Start menu and select the program name out of the list. I tried going through the steps with her about six times before she got it. Manuela doesn’t speak English very well, but her understand was good enough that she knew what I meant when I would point to something on the screen and ask her to click or double-click on a certain button. The reason why it took so many attemps until she finally followed my instructions correctly and got the program started is because Manuela would continuely do what she thought was the correct action, even though it had failed several times before. Basically she just kept clicking all over the place, and it was difficult for me to get her to only click where I wanted her to.


This is the first time I've had any difficultly with the children. It's true that these girls did not know English very well, but in the past that has not kept other from still trying to communicate, if only non-verbally. They may be using that as an excuse (internally) to not listen to me.