The 15-minute typewriter challenge


Image by Jessica Georgie.

Story by Dory Smith, Multimedia Editor

Dear Typewriter,

Let me take a moment to thank you. You’ve contributed so much to technological history and advancements. You’ve helped inform and create for generations, and I’m sorry if we millennials forget about you, but honestly, I gave up. Fifteen minutes into attempting to teach myself how to use you. I don’t think I’ve given up on anything so quickly in my life. There was no hesitation, disappointment or shame as I placed the lid on top of your oversized and bulky exterior.

Every step took longer than it should have, even taking off the lid. I pushed your button to the side, careful not to ruin my nails, which were freshly painted, but your lid wouldn’t come off. So I tried again, and again and again, until it finally popped off and scared me half to death because I thought I broke you.

As soon as you revealed yourself, I took a long deep breath because I knew this wasn’t going to get any easier. I grabbed the paper and figured out where and how to insert it.

I remembered my grandpa showing me how to put paper into a typewriter when I was a kid, so that didn’t take as long as I expected. Unfortunately, when I was a kid, I didn’t care much about the actual letters popping up on the paper. I just enjoyed pretending to be a secretary and hearing the clicking of the keys, so there was no help in that 15-second nostalgic daydream.

“I guess I’ll type my name,” I thought to myself, irritation quickly arising. I hit the letters “d” and “o” and, shockingly, it worked. At this point, I was not convinced and I hesitantly hit r. Of course, nothing happened, so I just moved onto the “y,” which popped up. I tried to gain a hint of positivity into this situation, but when I tried to fix it, the letters began sticking. I hit the tab button, space, shift, one, two and three. If there was an escape button, I would have hit it as well, but I made my own escape instead and removed myself from this catastrophe.

So many thoughts and questions were running through my mind during this moment. “I’m never doing that again,” “I could’ve been watching TV,” “I’m hungry,” and most importantly, “Where’s my MacBook Pro?”

I’ll admit, you were cool back in the day and if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to type without having an anxiety attack and needing a nap, but I think you are better off outside of my presence. It takes patience, which I clearly don’t have, to understand your ways. I’d like to think of you as a thing of the past or a cute antique home decoration.

Thank you, but no thank you.