I learned to type when I was a senior in high school, on a cardboard cutout because there were so many girls in the class that they were short of actual typewriters. I also was forced to take high school classes to learn shorthand, to cook eggs, and how to sew an apron, but those are different stories that I have no interest in telling.
Computers which were twenty years in the future, and typing in the late sixties seemed only to point me in the direction of a dead-end clerical job. I wanted to be a scientist. So I made the rounds of protest to the teachers, the principal, and anyone else who would listen. For starters, I wanted to take metalwork shop (to learn how to build my own science equipment), and I expressly did not want to spend school time taking home economics. The school administration’s only response was annoyance and refusal. Their patience had previously been tried to breaking when I insisted that I could not breath enough to run track, climb ropes, and meet the other strenuous requirements of their small town girl’s high school physical education, not to mention the gym instructors who were a weird couple who did not like me and with whom I had no other way of coping other than to opt out of phy-ed. What possessed them to start every session of gym with a jog around the track? I have a heart arrhythmia and had no chance of doing that even one time.
However, in the process of my demand for science classes I learned that I had been diverted from all of the college-bound, accelerated classes, a fact which finally roused my parents to take corrective action with the high school. The metalwork class instructor refused to have me, but I was enrolled in wood-working class, where the instructor handed me a couple of pieces of wood, a few electrical fittings, and told me to make a lamp, but denied me the use of any of the power tools. He gave me a few pieces of slightly used sandpaper. I also managed to get into the advanced mathematics, sciences, English, etc.
With such cold-hearted social trickery like the above, it surprises me that I turned out to be kind, to play fair, and I stayed strong. This is a good motto.
Caption: Be Kind, Play Fair, Stay Strong
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018