Pounding the pavement and pounding the keyboard …

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On January 1st, I might have sagely proclaimed that I would walk more and write more in the year 2015 … but, it seems I might have been all talk, and not so much action.

The walks have been infrequent and the posts have sloooowwwed to a crawl.

Well, ‘tis the season, and, though I had good intentions, I figured once Mother Nature started cranking up the snow machine, that would put the kibosh on the walks. Ol’ Mom Nature has really had her way with us this week, and, even the Groundhog was flummoxed by the snowflakes and declared Winter ain’t over! We knew that already.

So pounding the pavement has taken a back seat, as has pounding the keyboard for pleasure.

Yes, perhaps I have been pounding the keys too much all these years, though not all for fun stuff like my blog posts.

Do you ever stop to think just how many letters your fingers glide over during a day of traversing the keyboard?

With a laptop, just a feathery little touch is needed as your fingers fly across the low, flat keys, while those ideas are streaming directly from your brain to your fingertips.

For those of you who used a typewriter back in the day, do you feel you have the same rhythm typing on a computer keyboard, especially a laptop, that you enjoyed while hammering out a document on a non-electric typewriter?

No way!!

Once you had that cadence going and your fingers were in tune with your old Royal typewriter, too bad you had to break the rhythm at the end of the sentence to hit the carriage return. (Younger readers are scratching their head saying “what’s a carriage return?”) It was a chance to get one-on-one with the machine … the pings of the keys striking the foolscap paper, the bell signaling the end of the line, smacking the carriage return and when the typewriter jumped up every time you hit the “Shift” key … now, those were the sounds of the old portable typewriter.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve pounded many a typewriter in my day, starting with college term papers. Late at night, down in the basement, typing away on the old portable Royal, left over from my mom’s business school days, I’d hope I guessed right on the amount of space to leave for the footnotes during a book report. I’d be pounding away so hard that the typewriter cover, which flipped back like a suitcase lid, would be bouncing up and down on the table.

I remember wanting to kick myself for hitting a stray key and making a mistake, because out came this chalky white paper which you had to position just so to take the offending letter off your page. If you couldn’t remove it, you had to type the page over. Oh, the horror of it all.

I’ve written before that all of the classes I ever had in all my school years, the typing class has probably proven to be the most useful. That was in ninth grade and big rings were all the fashion – the more rings you could wear, the better. I wonder how we waved at one another without our hands being weighed down? Our old school marm typing teacher walked around the class to ensure all the girls removed their rings before positioning their hands on the “home keys”. Then we had to type. Soon, all you heard was the clickety-clack of keys being pushed down and the shrill ring signaling the end of the line and a hand swiping the carriage return bar back to the other side of the typewriter. There was no wraparound text on that old Royal typewriter. I wonder if we had lessons from Mrs. Miller on how to type on carbon paper, also a joy back in the day.

Yup, it was the good old days for sure.

Today, I bring up the subject of typing and pounding the keys because I had to return to the immigration office to have my fingerprints retaken so that my green card could be processed. You might recall I went there in mid-October for my fingerprints, signature and picture to be digitally taken to renew my green card. My electronic fingerprints were no good and we had to resort to the good, old-fashioned ink fingerprints like the police use. Each digit, then a thumb on each hand, then all four digits together … wow. And then a good hand scrubbing to get rid of the ink on my fingers and under my nails

I got a notice – the fingerprints were not clear. I have no discernible prints because I have been typing for eons – pounding a typewriter all through college and then in the workplace, all the way through to the early 90s when I switched over and used my first computer. And, it’s been about 23 years on a computer keyboard.

I now use a laptop and am dismayed to see on the keyboard, not yet six months old, there are black blank keys for the letters “E”, “S” and “T” … I’ve clearly worn them out and the key is bare. Good thing I was not absent the day Ms. Miller told us how to sit at the typewriter … back straight, always place your fingers on the home keys … then type.

I think I have two choices here – become a U.S. citizen or use voice recognition software, because at this rate, if I keep up the fast and furious typing, when I return in ten years to renew the card again, my fingers will be bloody stumps and my fingerprints forevermore will be lost.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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2 Responses to Pounding the pavement and pounding the keyboard …

  1. Marge Aubin says:

    Wow! You erased more than a slight mistake. Is this a common occurrence with typist? Some of the snow is melting….yah!!!!!!!!

  2. lindasschaub says:

    Hi Marge – it is a common occurrence with typists especially – years and years ago, before I had the problem with my ink fingerprints in 1995, I worked with a legal secretary. She had a five-year old daughter and when the girl started kindergarten the police came to the school and wanted to do little I.D. kits for each kid in case the kid was ever snatched or went missing. Anticipating that the kids might scream or get upset when they were fingerprinted (ink fingerprints, not digital), they asked one of the parents to be present and allow themselves to be fingerprinted so the kids could see what the police would do to them. So, Sue, my coworker, said the police marvelled because they could not get prints on her – she was older than me at that time … maybe 7 or so years, and had been a legal secretary since graduating from high school in late 60s. So the police went through the motions of taking the prints, but there was nothing usable. I was amazed at that story, as was Sue, but now I see it happening to me. Snow is melting – where? We are getting more snow tonight … OMG. I had so much snow in the garage – two hard little piles of it that sneaked in past the rubber doorstops … so done with this season!

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