Friday, July 23, 2010


Image result for magdalene at the tombFun and games. Forty-two years ago this month, I was engaged in completing this little document. I typed this myself, error-free requirement, because I could not afford to hire a professional. I checked it out. I had to have this done prior to the "orals" scheduled for the end of July. Also, I was living with my family, wife and four children who ranged in age from nine months to eleven years, in a chicken-house which had been converted into a two-room apartment. I am not making this up. The "house" was situated toward the front of a very large garden which was kept by the landlord from whom we rented. The front yard between the house and the street was in grass which was infested with snakes. They were friendly little garter snakes, and they lived under the protection of the gardener, whose name, ironically was "Gardener". Again, IANMTU. Mommy was not too thrilled with having them share the yard with her kids; and, in truth, neither was I.
Long story made longer, I completed the task and passed the orals. My adviser, Thomas P. Dennehey, now deceased, was a real prince of a guy who on a point or two guided me into safe waters when the committee seemed most threatening.
The coup de grace, almost, was this. On my way to the college one morning the car caught fire. This resulted in a thirty-one day stay in the shop for the auto, and put me on public transportation until completion of the term. And we had to overstay our plan, and just barely got home in time for the start of the new school year.
I do not include the entire thirty-six page document. It's a real snoozer.


jimgrey said...

Holy cow, the typing headache that must have been. Funny how I key in on that first and not the two-room apartment, the snakes, or the car.

Secondary Roads said...

I'm glad I took a couple of typing classes in High School. What a help that turned out to be! What a help it was when we technical editors no longer had to write equations by hand and then correct the typesetter's interpretation thereof. Computers were great for text, but Equation Editor really helped the most.

Cars, housing, critters, cars . . . We certainly live in a different world than the one we grew up in.

vanilla said...

Jim-- This started out to be the story of typing the thing, but it sort of evolved. The fun part was the pages where some of the elements had superscripts or subscripts to two and three levels.

Chuck-- I did this on a standard portable typewriter. I coulda used some sort of technical help!

And yes, our lives today are much different from the ones we had forty and fifty years ago!