I’m sitting here trying to remember the shortcuts I used to take in my old neighborhood, and the only one I can remember taking was on the way to school. If I was running late, I would cut across the church parking lot and through the alley that emptied out onto Loyola Avenue. The nuns didn’t like us cutting through alleys to get to school, but they were busy in the classroom by that point and never caught me. I talked a little about alleys a while back and how they were to us what streets were to the rest of the world, but none of them were shortcuts as much as alternate routes or bypasses.
Now, there were times we’d try to take shortcuts through people’s yards and gangways, but that was frowned upon, as you can imagine. Occasionally you’d go into someone’s back yard only to discover they had a dog in there. So it wasn’t one of those things we did all that frequently.
I wasn’t much for taking shortcuts, anyway. I used to go out of my way to take a more circuitous route home from school, especially when I got into eighth grade. I tended to roam a lot through the neighborhood, with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company. I was kind of weird that way. Antisocial, maybe.
Nowadays, when people talk about shortcuts, they typically mean on the computer, where you put an icon on the desktop that invokes a program when you click it. It’s more common with Windows users than Mac users, mostly because icons on the Mac desktop have a habit of slowing things down at startup time, for reasons known only to Apple. It’s okay, because we have the Dock in MacOS. It’s a bar at the bottom of the screen (that can be moved to either side or the top) that holds the icons for whatever programs you use on a regular basis. Normally there’s also an icon for the Applications folder, so you can get at all the programs you have installed. They added something called Launchpad a couple of releases of the operating system ago, which lays out all the programs as if you’re looking at an iPad or iPhone. Evidently this was the most exciting thing Apple had done with MacOS, based on discussions of it I see on help boards, but I never use it.
Well, I think I’ll cut this short…
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