Monday, May 12, 2014

The Teacher Who Changed My Life & Typewriters

This past weekend, Russell and I were out scrounging for junk and we scored a cool #10 Remington typewriter out of a roadside “free” pile. 
Researching it reminded me of the teacher that changed my life, seriously. 

I started my freshman year of high school in a new town with new teachers—this was pre-computer days, by the way.  I was getting my normal good but not outstanding grades when my English teacher asked me to stay after class. I was pretty much mortified to be singled out and puzzled—until he started to talk.  He told me that there was a way, with no additional studying or work, that I could raise my grades by at least a half a point. He told me to buy a typewriter and take a basic typing class (I guess, that's work but it didn't feel like it at the time).
This is the portable typewriter I bought at Grants Department store in Bennington Vermont –with money I’d made delivering newspapers and working for my parents. I took typing in a class full of girls I’d never otherwise have met, since they were doing a business track instead of college prep like me. I made new friends and I typed every paper I could. My grades instantly went up, often a full point. Sophomore year I went from normal college prep to all AP classes and my grades never dipped.
To a degree, it bothered me that my naturally awful handwriting had held me back for so long and no one had ever suggested this solution (I’d been browbeaten about my handwriting more than once by teachers). And, when college and eventually computers arrived, typing once again put me ahead of the curve. In fact, I used this same typewriter until I finally got a computer.

So thank you Mr. March and thank you Grant's typewriter.
P.S. This is the first day, I can use my outdoor summer office.  The sweet peas are growing like crazy. And, while I’m sitting here typing, a chubby woodpecker is glaring at me and the dog between bites of suet.  Sometimes life is just plain glorious.