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Mama Deb
.:::.:....... ..::...:
Mama Deb [userpic]
I'll be over here in the rocking chair, rocking

Someone on my friendslist, one of the many college students, just said, and I paraphrase, that she sent in her paper with errors, but fortunately she has time to correct them and send it in again.

And all of you who are currently or recently college students or, possibly, professors, are nodding.

But it's making me feel, oh, so old. Because when I was first in college, in the eighties, you *typed* your papers. Sometimes, if you were ambitious and/or organized, you *retyped* them. If you made mistakes even after that, you took out a pen or a pencil and corrected them - that's why they were doublespaced. And once you handed in your papers - and that meant physically handing them to the professor *or* placing them in their physical mailbox - that was *it*.

Later on, in the later eighties, when I had access to a computer, I did word process them (using, I believe, a shareware clone of Wordstar) and print them out, although my profs weren't happy because I was using dot matrix and dot matrix was hard to read, even in the highest quality print, and you had all these perforations around the edges. So some teachers still prefered typed papers. And they *all* had to be handed in.

And...I'm intensely jealous. Just leave it at that.


There, there. A lot of places (and individual teachers) still require work to be handed in in hard copy. (Why should they use up paper and ink to do the student's job for them? Or, more importantly, why should they risk infecting their computer by accepting an attachment that may have a virus?)

My mother has been griping at me about the ease of writing papers on the computer, though, since I was in high school and she realized I could add a footnote with a keystroke. The woman typed her doctoral dissertation (in the early 70's) on a typewriter, and the two horror stories that stick with me are about footnotes and margins. You get to where you have a footnote, you take out the page and type the footnote on another page, measure up from the bottom, and then mark the first page where you're going to have to stop writing in order to fit the footnote on that page. (Good lord, it's no wonder they invented endnotes. But in these days of computer typesetting, I hate them.) And margins! Theses had very strict regulations wrt margins, because they were going to be recorded on microfilm and anything over the limit wouldn't get captured on the camera-ready whatever. So the department secretary had a template, and she held it over each page, and if the text ran into the margin she crossed out the page with a big red marker and the page had to be retyped. (And, naturally, so did every page after it, if the first one ran over the page break when it was fixed. Gah. Gah. Gah.)

We know how fortunate we are. :-)

I only used endnotes. Everyone I knew only used endnotes. Footnotes were far too much trouble. And I wrote history papers.

I didn't have to worry about margins, but I do remember the wonder of Mar Rel. And the bell to move the return lever - I even used an electric with a return lever. The return key? Amazing.

Auto-return? Even more amazing - especially when you combined it with correction.