A Course in the Future
A Course in the Future
Let’s begin by saying that there are two kinds of people, those who can type, and those who cannot. With the additional problem that keyboards have been reduced in size (on smartphone screens), we’ve got what potentially becomes a gnarly issue. Children who do not go to school, generally speaking, do not learn how to type. And to know how to type is one of the rock-bottom requirements of college.
I learned how to type in the proper fashion, both fingers and thumbs fully employed, when I was attending a trade school course where I endeavored in all phases of the printing industry, from type-setting to camera-room work to the stress and racket on the pressroom floor. And on the pressroom floor you better be wearing your ear plugs and protectors, because there is no sound more monstrous than that of a nearby newspaper press.
For a few years that’s how I earned my living, I ran a printing press, or rather I turned out printed work which is how I preferred to think of it. But the problem was, ever since I was a boy in grade school I had always believed that I would go to college, this special place where your life is decided for you once and for all.
And so it was decided that I would attend the university. Every morning I could look out my bedroom window, glance across the river valley to the other side of town where the university stood, its many buildings in an array of departments and locations.
Toward late autumn afternoons the low sun would cast the older brick buildings midway down the hill and near the viaduct in an orange light caused by the haze of dust in the air. I saw this scene many, many times over the years from the time I was a child until I moved away for good in my late twenties.
My wife and I had been married for a year and we moved to Pocatello, first just me, then later on the wife and the two children. My son was pudgy as hell, and had just passed the milestone of his first birthday. He still nursed from the bottle frequently and dragged it around by his teeth, dangled it from his mouth as though it were an extension of his tongue.
I was this boy’s father, and I was responsible for him. Between me and Rebecca, my wife, we were responsible for the way this boy grew up. How much affection he received from his father, if any? Hanging out with dad seemed like a lame thing to do even when he was a little kid. He hung out with his two friends mainly, both the sons of local businessmen.
That was a long time ago. He is going to turn forty in a few years. The way his life has turned out so far is rather amazing, I think, considering where he came from, the abject working class. My children soon became my one great treasure, after my life was ripped from my hands or I simply threw it away, take your pick.
The sheer disregard of good common sense can get a man into a lot of trouble. Putting on some clothes is rarely thought of as a required precursor to stepping outdoors, and nearly all of us observe this rule and follow this law. No one except a victim of Tourette’s Syndrome would bark out senseless obscenities and raging accusations of harm having been committed against him moments before a concert got underway.