Writin' It Old School


We're not always sure why we do things. My philosophy is that if we enjoyed it, that's justification enough.

It's always been my dream to write on a typewriter, and today I did! After returning from the Littleton Courier (I'm an intern reporter)I visited my mom at Harman's Cheese, the quaint little store up the road from my house. I always knew Harman's had a typewriter, but never absorbed the thought until today.

Nevertheless, I ended up requesting permission to try it out. It was granted. After learning the basics, I still had much to discover. It took me awhile before realizing there's a "white-out" key that will erase mistakes. Haha. After messing around and writing nothing of consequence, I set another goal: Before I graduate high school, I'm going to type an essay on a typewriter. I reminisced on the essay I had to write for tomorrow. Guess where that thought went?

After returning to Harman's from a trip home to grab my necessary tools for essay composition (The Catcher in the Rye, paper for the typewriter, essay question and a water bottle) I sat down to business. Of course, the format of my essay was an aberration of MLA format, but it was still typed. That's what my syllabus requests: typed essays. It doesn't specify what mechanism should be used for the typing, however, therefore my essay stands!

While writing this I realized how spectacular typewriters are! It was a fabulous feeling to have my paper printing while I was typing, as connecting to my home printer from my computer is >=(. However, I do appreciate the fact that I can re-arrange words on a computer more easily. With a typewriter, the essay would have to be completely re-written to alter phrases or add ideas.

Overall, I loved typing on the typewriter. It made me appreciate old school secretaries who learned to type knowing that there was little room for mistake. Because I had to backspace so many times to hit the "white out" key, I realized that I take typing for granted, and never really paid attention during class. (I do not type the conventional way of using four fingers. This causes me to make many mistakes, which is where the backspace key saves me.)

It amazes me how people used to write. I was using an automatic electric typewriter so my only requirement was the physical typing. With manual typewriters there isn't auto-tab, auto-margin or the "white-out" key. My mother-who earned an associate's degree in being a medical secretary- said it was quite the process to fix a mistake. People back then took typing seriously.

I truly appreciate computers and will never use typewriters full time, but I love them. (I did an economics project on bringing the typewriter back in sophomore year!) My next goal is to type an essay on a manual typewriter (oh gee). One of those black old fashioned ones with the circular keys. So vintage. For now, I am the proud producer of the only typewriter composed essay my AP Literature teacher will ever grade. =)