On the first day of classes, I knew it was a joke. We were in a media room on the second floor of the 500-block. The classroom was filled with 10-year-old computers (in 1999) and the class was taught by a man in his mid-forties who gave the impression that he did not understand computers at all. This was explicit on the second day of classes when he expressed the need for assistance in actually setting the computers up so that they were functional for the purposes of the class.
My knowledge of computers is almost completely self-taught. My dad helped briefly, but by the time I was in elementary school playing Oregon Trail and Nigel's World (does anyone else remember Nigel's
So I guess it fell to me - between actually knowing a thing or two more than the teacher, and wanting to feel occupied when I had no friends to talk to - to set up the computers for the class. I can't say it was much use, though. In the course of the entire school year we did little more than speed typing tests. Over and over, drilled into our heads, one space after commas, two spaces after a period. Over and over.
What the teacher certainly didn't comprehend is that those rules we followed in those speed typing tests were archaic. A dinosaur at a manual typewriter in 1965 might approve, but no one with any sense of typographic rules in 1999 would have. And that's why I love this article from Slate.com that someone posted on Facebook earlier today. The article might be a few years old, but the facts remain the same.
And while one could argue that typographical awareness is not something at the forefront of our common intelligence, it's something of which (in this internet age) everyone should at least subconsciously be cognizant. I've been a single-spacer since even before this class (I defied the speed test rules and ended up with a lower score every time because I knew it was wrong and didn't need a computer to tell me how quickly or efficiently I could type) and am alarmed to think that there could still be proud two-spacers among us - unaware, lurking...