– mariam reflects on ms. pringle’s typing school

Belonging to the Very Good School of Touch Typing Without Looking, from which I graduated with honours in 1981, from Ms. Pringle’s Very Good School of Touch Typing, I find I can do all manner of things such as sitting in my office looking out the window, while typing. Some might call it some form of genius, but I wouldn’t go so far, though Ms. Pringle did call me to the front of the class and present me with a certificate.

I did a cute little mime, like playing the piano, except it was a keyboard and hit the return when I accepted it. Oh. In those days when you hit the return, you hit the return, and the whole world knew it. We would sit, back’s straight, corrector at hand (not that I ever needed it) and typed out the quick gay fox jumped over the lazy dog with an aptitude that left many mouths agape, lips flapping like guppies in the wind. In fact, once I turned around to see Ms. Pringle standing behind me, as that was how she assessed whether you were great or one of the merely competent. You could have picked her jaw up from the floor. Not only was I quite good at being able to spin my head 360 ° , I didn’t miss a key.

Anyone who has learnt to touch type on a manual type writer, and really, what other kind is there, will know the hardest thing to do is the numbers and the second hardest is the punctuation marks above the numbers, or maybe that order should be reversed. Why is that difficult? Oh, I know you modern kids won’t know – because it was quite a stretch and you had to press down hard! Further to that, you needed to use your pinkie, right or left, depending on the punctuation needed, to push down the shift key. What else is the pinkie used for in our times, or even in that sadly missed era? I think one reason we really should be encouraged to maintain our manual typewriter writing skills is to make sure our pinkies get a good workout. After all, you know how it goes. Healthy body, healthy mind.

Anyway, I’ll have you know that I was going for the percent key when I left I Ms. Pringle catching flies. This is quite and intricate operation, especially as the other key I was going for was ‘b’, in lowere case, and, liket he punctuation keys, you’ve really got to stretch for that one. Why was I writing b%? Well, who really knows, but no, I am being falsely modest, a trait which I cannot stand in others so I will own up to my greatness. Credit should be given where credit is due, as the dear Lord wished.

It was one of those tests where you demonstrate your dexterity and flexibility in typing. I can even remember the order of letters and characters. Some say a photographic memory is a curse, but I have always found it to work in my favour. b%@#c!. Oh, she used to come up with some funny combinations. Well, as Ms. Pringle told us, and I will attest, Tough Typing is a skill and talent that never leaves you and it has opened many a pathway down the long doorway of opportunity, not only for me, but others, too.

Let me demonstrate, and excuse me if I don’t sound quite myself, but as well as being quite the typist, I dabble a bit in the arts. When you do this, in a different voice, it’s called being a narrator. I am blessed in so many ways. In fact, Ms. Pringle often used to praise me to the high heavens, especially when I twisted my head around to look at her, and she would exclaim, ‘Mariam, you really are a work of art’, or something equally complimentary. I’m sure we was referring to something as breathtaking as the Venus de Milo, except I had arms and I was wearing clothes. Of course. It’s silly to imagine that one can type without them. So, here goes. Boy are you in for a treat.

I am in my office overlooking the rice fields filled with water, as the seedlings spike the water and the rice fields are piked. Car lights on parallel road which means the road parallel to my office which means it runs alongside of, not poking out (I was good at maths, too, well everything, really, and so is my narrator). Muted sky like that thing that they put on trumpets to make them all whiny like a mosquito. Evening.

Summer is a blessing with its long days, and isn’t it just? Those of great diligence and ability like to greet the day with a smile, and wonder what it holds for them, at 4 a.m. It has been proven that this is the best time to practice your touch typing, and though the people in th flat above mine sometimes pound their floor, other people sometimes have to make sacrifices for great art.

Cherry blossoms all gone. Trees now green now leaves now there now so yesterday , i wait for a letter, my next letter, the letter I will type, and this will be fun, and others will weep with gratitude. i will be grateful. A red light flashes on my right, so far away, near a telephone tower. If Homer Simpson lived somewhere, it would probably be here, however, ti’s prettier, I think, than Springfield (I never watch that programme, but my niece told me that, so, for the sake of whimsy and typing practise, let’s throw it in!). More rustic. And it’s all in the phrasing. Moical Boulton is so good because it’s all in the phrasing. And you can trhow in surnmes so you can keep the rhyme scheme going. What do you think about rhymes without poems? Well, I’m all for them. Free form it’s called, anw we free wheeling typists know that greatness is often not recognised. I guess it7s not such a bad thing.

Staring out this window I am strin out of, typing, just checked to see my hands were on the keys, Ain’t is a disappointment when they are not, though that rrely happens to me. I do feel sorry for some, though. or maybe it’s a blessing for the reading public7s eyes when you read some of the dross that is written out there. Of course, some might think that this too is dross, but my fans assure me it is pure spite on their parts. If they had put as much time and effort in learning how to trip their fingers across the keyboards like a buzzy, busy, bbee, then they too would be able to fly in the kitchen at 4 in the morning, clacking away on an old Remington.

A bat flit by, a red light zoomed along the highway like a bat, iris look like butterflies abotu to take flight. I wonder if the bat is chasing mosquitoes, dipping and diving like a muted trumpet. Why do I want to write here mor than see my neighbour. I like my neighbour. Very nice mwoman. Though she always seems to have a headache. The tawny frogmouthlooks at me, (it’s in a celndar) it7s body like knotted wood. Such a strange looking bird. It gets cold, colder, the night get’s colder.

A toothpaste heart, excess squeezed out, fiscally viable. ( I used that expression in everyone of my typing tests, and I must say, while turning my head 360 ° to look at Ms. Pringle as she was looking at me, that I often saw an awestruck tear trickle down her face. It made me so excited, and I felt so validated, that sometimes a bit of drool would spill from the side of my face,. But that cannot be helped, because the truly dedicated must never lifte their fingers from the keys).

O heaven, oh heaven, oh heaven of mine, to where do you wander when you wander on down?,. Ac tually, I don’t know why I aske that question, for the answer surely is into my kitchen at 4 in the morning to find me perfecting the skills that God gave me (I’m not really in the office. We poetic people call that a licence). Skills so grate and pure, at their zentih , that I shall not even check this before I send it out. It would be as if I had spat in the face of the creator.

In fact, my ehad is twisted 360 at the moment, as i look at the light pouring in the window, and the shape I can see there, forming, oh yes, it looks like the late, great ms. pringle, and there trickles a tear down her face. The saliva gathers at one side of my mouth and continues down over my chin, and spills onto the bow of my secretary&s blouse, and thenstains my heaving bosom. But do I care about such mundanity, such small details of insconsequential consequence? Oh hno, the truly dedicated must soldier on. And so we do, a qwerty good morning to one and all.

For: Dena Anwar Khalil Ba’lousha (7), North Gaza

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9 Comments on “– mariam reflects on ms. pringle’s typing school”

  1. MeanderingMelbourne Says:

    Ah, the clack of the typewriter keys and the ding of the carriage return! For you, Mariam and others who may miss the sounds of yesteryear, you can upload a typing soundtrack.

    Mind you, electric typewriters were especially noisy, and I recall many a thump on a wall to get me to quieten down after typing all day during a job hunt. “Bang, bang, bang!” exclaimed my next-door-neighbour, not to me, but to another resident within my earshot. “She would not stop!” Sigh. I tried to muffle the sound of the keys with a folded towel beneath the typewriter, but to no avail. Apparently my understanding of acoustics was not as strong as my touch typing.

    A qwerty good morning right back at you.

    PS. My quick fox was brown rather than gay, but my quick brown fox was obviously not as evolved.

  2. Sue Says:

    I can hear Mariam quite clearly. I can see her, too, even though you didn’t describe her, I can see her quite plainly in my mind’s eye.

  3. lizardrinking Says:

    I wonder if she looks like Linda Blair, glo? 🙂 Thanks for that. It still needs a bit of tightening, and I think it’s a character I always write, but I’m happy with her.

    MM, I don’t miss the pounding of the typewriter keys, that’s Mariam, my narrator 😉 She also is a bit confused about foxes and their orientation.

  4. TOS Says:

    You’ve found the key to the type of story I like. Nice touch. I’ll return when I’m feeling less peckish.

  5. lizardrinking Says:

    TOS, If I shifted the register, and adjusted the carriage, do you think it would lock me in, or do you think there would be a margin for creative experimentation which could still key people in and leave them feeling touched, not pounded?

  6. somebody somewhere Says:

    It was a thing of beauty and it was indeed a treat. Great post, and great insta-blog (they all sit well together?).

    Once, I typed the whole of a long-breathed Ginsberg Poem and wrote sundry words by way of a letter on the other side. That kind of madness only made sense on a manual typewriter.

    I es[rvos;;u ;olrf yjr d[r;;omh ,odyslrd@

  7. lizardrinking Says:

    I’m sure if I were erudite (my favourite word) I could figure out that code at the bottom.

    You typed that Ginsberg poem to me, as I recall, and you painted the paper as well! It was wonderful. Of course, you might have typed it out more than once and sent it to all of your friends. Thanks for your lovely comment. The opening day has been a resounding success.

  8. kelly chase Says:

    Oh, dear! My eyes are all adrool with laughter! hehe

    How brilliant and entertaining you are.


  9. lizardrinking Says:

    Thanks, Mama. You’re a doll.

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