Tests are part of my ‘good old days’ in high school. This short series is about those tests. Most of my test bring a chuckle, but one does not. I’ll slip it into the series later.
The spinster typing teacher seemed even older than anyone in the building – well she was, we thought.
Our typewriters didn’t have letters and symbols on the keyboard. We learned to locate our fingers with the little dot on the j and f key and tried to coordinate the location of other letters from the big chart on the wall.
I don’t remember any of the drills we had, but we started speed and accuracy tests using our propped-up lesson guide. Looking at the paper in the carriage or at the keyboard during typing was forbidden and it seemed that the teacher could see where everyone’s eyes were focused.
Then came the transcription speed tests from copy we’d not seen before. I wasn’t destined for typist of the week, but neither was I doomed to fail for being too slow or too inaccurate.
Sometime about mid quarter, we had the drill for grade. Text for transcribing was located face away on each propped-up lesson guide stand. At the signal from Teacher, we flipped the paper and started. Most were finished before my transcribing was done. My friend behind me ended at the same time as I did. I admit being wrong in turning to ask him something totally unrelated to the class.
I centered the typewriter carriage, closed my study guide, slid the chair under the desk, then walked out quietly while feeling her eye arrows penetrating my back. I’m sure, at least I was at the time, that the absence of murmuring in the room was because most of the students needed the credit.
The principal was in the outer office when I walked in. With his curious look in my direction I blurted, “The old bag hit me.”
He asked, “Miss …?”
Another student arrived as he took me into his inner office. He looked at the note the other student gave him and asked me, “How does one cheat on a typing test?”
I probably just gave a shoulder shrug.
He asked if I needed the credit after I explained what happened. I didn’t because I’d taken the business education class the quarter before.
“Cheating on a typing test eh, just go to study hall instead.” He chuckled and continued, “She hasn’t hit anyone in at least a year. I’ll talk to her.”
Can you imagine current media grabbing onto that incident and his comment?
Oh, this happened in 1953 or ’54!