Thursday, June 21, 2007

Excel is for Knitters

I had a dilemma about completing my Pearls of Wisdom shawl in time for the wedding I intend to wear it to- mostly how I could (a) conceptualize it's growth, (b) whether I could actually finish it in time and (c) whether I could finish it in time without wrecking my hands.

I remember reading someone's blog (Grumperina, possibly), where the knitter used Excel to measure (a) total rows, (b) rows completed and (c) rows to be completed. She also had averaged out the total rows over the number of days before the garment needed to be completed, so she had a per diem quota.

Historically, I have been very intimidated by Excel. So, when I found out that I could take Excel classes, I was THRILLED. I was told Excel is hard the same way many young women are told math and the sciences are hard.

[NOTE: Feminist-y rant follows. If you're not interested in the rant, skip down to the next bold section.]

When I realized how incredibly easy Excel can be, I was furious. Every opportunity where Excel was necessary, I was told by a male co-worker that Excel is hard, and he would lighten my load by just doing the spreadsheet for me, saving me * hours * of work.

This made me feel like Excel was a secret language, with all the odd symbols for the formulas and whatnot. I'm a fairly smart person, but I was of the opinion that I just must not be smart enough to do Excel, since it would be so time-consuming to teach me.

After the class, and I realized how simple so many of the tasks are, I was FURIOUS. If I had gotten four hours of this specific Excel training, I could have outdone everyone at my last job. I was just being brushed off because Excel and Math are for boys, and everything else is for girls. It'll shrivel your ovaries, render you barren and possibly result in a "rest cure" for your hysteria, you understand.


Phew. Glad that's over. Anyway, so I had an idea, based on the spreadsheet/graph I remembered seeing, and now I had the skills to make it work. The hardest part was determining the necessary data.

That took a little thinking about how I wanted it to appear, which took a little time.

End result:

1 comment:

  1. (I'm still Cinnabars on Rav) I am so glad Mom trained us out of saying, "I can't"! I haven't said I can't do something since age 7, because every time I tried, Mom said Yes you can. You may not like it; you may not be great at at it; but you can do it.

    Because of this, I have never done anything that I haven't excelled at, no matter how unlikely I was to be good at it. I have no fear of math, and I already have the basics of Excel(um, enough to balance my checkbook--very basic--but I can still use it, AND an autosum, at that!).

    So. My mom's awesome, and yay for the powers of Excel!


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