When I was your age, we wrote everything longhand

May 5th, 2010

I recently went to a classroom to watch a bunch of first and second graders interact with the software I work on. I’d only been working there a couple weeks, so my contributions were really very minimal, but that’s beside the point.

I hadn’t been in a second grade school since was about that age some two decades ago. In those days, most of the class artwork on the walls consisted of handmade crafts and stories demonstrating our best handwriting. While this classroom featured the requisite construction paper crafts, all the students’ writing was typed.

The kids had handwritten sentences the day before, and their assignment was to type it out and illustrate it on the software we’d built. Our job was to take note of anything that really seemed to work or not work. I had my spiral-bound notebook folded over so that the page full of hand-written notes were visible to anyone who might be looking up from the floor. Since I was in a room full of short people, I suppose it was inevitable that someone would take notice.

“I don’t see many people write like that,” the observant party announced.
“Wow! That’s a lot of writing! Did you write all that?” his friend inquired.
“I did. When I was your age,” I was pretty tickled to be able to say that to someone in a non-facetious manner, “we didn’t have computers, and everybody wrote like this.”
The friend’s jaw hit the floor. The observant party was nonplussed. “My mom already told me that.”

Hopefully that kid never hears about typewriters or it’ll take some of the shine off that story.

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One Response to “When I was your age, we wrote everything longhand”


  1. Who says:

    hahaha, that’s a wonderful story, I recently was talking to bossman at work, it was late and he asked me how I was getting home, I told him, at that hour the buses had long since stopped running and that I’d have to walk home, he was shocked and inquired about whether I had to to that when it snowed, I told him I often did after getting out too late for the bus and he said I could actually use the line “when I was your age I had to walk —miles in the snow…” I told him I had indeed thought of that

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