Typing Class and Summer, 1960s Style


typewriter

Howdy! Boy it would be nice if we could have a balance of rainy and sunny days. Are you old enough to remember “Rainy Days and Mondays” by the  Carpenters? It’s a double whammy when Monday is the rainy day. Today is getting me down. I just emailed my cousin and told her that nothing was moving in my brain today. My brain is feeling as constipated as the rest of me sometimes gets. On those days I kind of do stream of consciousness writing until I hit on a topic I really want to discuss.

 

typing classIn high school I took a typing course during the summer. The instructor was a former business school teacher who conducted classes in her basement. It was something to do to break the monotony of small town lazy days. It was kind of an introductory course for those with no typing experience, but it was a good preview of the course I took for credit the following year as an elective for an easy ‘A’.

We got to the point where the instructor gave us an assignment to type an essay. I don’t remember if she gave us a word count or not, but at the time it seemed like she was giving us a big job. We had a week to do it. It was warm weather time and my mind was not on writing, so I kept putting it off.

Now mind you, the content was not going to be graded. We were completely free as far as the topic went. The purpose was just to be able to type that long of a paper and set it up correctly. She wanted to see if we could use the tab, shift key, punctuation marks, etc. We had to know how to set the margins and double space. Keyboards on typewriters were much simpler back then, but we still had to show mastery. If you are too young to remember typewriters, maybe the course today is called “keyboarding”.

I messed around until it was the afternoon before it was due, and I still hadn’t gotten a clue as to a topic. Finally, I forced myself to sit down at the dining room table where I placed the portable typewriter. Fortunately, she had accrued enough portables for everybody in the class to be able to carry the typewriters back and forth the three blocks to her house since I didn’t have a typewriter of my own at home.

Like I’m doing today, I sat down and just started writing. I related what I had done all week that kept me away from the assignment. Monday this happened, Tuesday I had to…..and so on. I got through the whole week and ended up the last two sentences by apologizing for not being able to do the assignment because I didn’t have anything to write about. 

The paper was supposed to be double spaced one page, I believe. By the time I finished, I think it was closer to two pages.

I handed it in. She must have laughed at that paper for years. Now, I don’t mean in a derisive way because she wasn’t that kind of a teacher. She was actually one of the women in my life who was very kind to me. I basked in her attention and wanted to do well for her. She just thought it was pretty clever of me to be able to come up with an essay  like that. It was actually well typed, as far as I can remember. I had fulfilled the assignment without actually saying anything.

She and her husband are still living in the same home town. They finally moved to another home a couple miles away from that house, but as far as I know, they are still both healthy and active. When you are young, you think everybody over thirty is ancient. I don’t know how much older she was than I am, but I’m guessing she may still be in her seventies. The older I get, the younger that sounds.

I’d love to forward this to her, but I’m not ready yet for my hometown to know I am doing this blogging. I may want to touch on some subjects that I’m willing to tell the world, as long as few people know the real person behind it. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I’m reserving that right to hide for the time being. Not that I’m sure anybody in my home town would ever see it, or read it, or care. Not that I’m sure anybody other than a few distant relatives would know that at one time I actually lived there. Most of the good people I remember in my childhood are no longer living or have moved away to bigger places.

There are days that I get a lot of hits but nobody sees the blog of the day. Last week I had two days in a row that I had over 300 hits but not a one on those two days’ topics. Go figure. I have a cousin who seems to be interested in what I have to say. It didn’t even register that she had logged in. That’s the time I have to remember that I started this blog as an electronic journal without the anticipation of anybody really reading it.

Anyway, I think the typing teacher would be tickled that fifty years later I’m still able to sit down when I can’t get my brain to work and end up an hour later with a finished assignment without having said anything.

Thanks, Mrs. E, for the typing lessons if you ever read this. Your time teaching that class that summer has served me well for the past fifty years, and if you will notice, I was able to do the whole “assignment” once again without really saying anything.

God bless and good health. Namaste, Attic Annie

Oh, and thank you, Sue, for the encouragement you give me by claiming you need your daily blog fix. I have no idea if anybody else out there is reading me on a daily basis, but as long as I know you are for the most part, that’s enough to keep me going.

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1 Comment

Filed under Casual conversation, diary, general topics, life, Uncategorized

One response to “Typing Class and Summer, 1960s Style

  1. I remember those infernal machines. Underwoods. Weighed a ton. Took a blacksmith’s hands to pound the keys.

    They were great, though, for expanding your vocabulary. You’re on the last line of the page (how the heck did we know that?) and you type “and then we wslked out hte dorr”.

    “Oh mercy, I’ve made another mistake.”

    Here’s another “ancient artifact”: You want 2 copies? No, you don’t click “2”. You get carbon paper.

    (I’ll bet one could make Al Gore disappear into dust by waving carbon paper at him.)