Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Friday was marked by an important event...

I finished and turned in the last paper I will ever have to turn in, and delivered it to a professer teaching the last lit class I ever will have to take. That's it. My English major is done.

I've written a lot of papers through the years. Some of them were good, some of them were crap, but the one thing they all had in common was the fact that they had to be turned in typed. English majors type well. We have the kind of speed only achieved by future secretaries, or medical transcriptionists. I can type a five page paper in the time it takes to make myself Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. And if you consider that I typically write my paper while typing it, this is no mean feat.

The invention of the modern keyboard began in a way much more efficent than what we now know and tolerate. Originally, the positioning of the keys was much different. It was intended to be comfortable, easily used. But then people tried to use this arrangement with the typewriters in circulation. And things had to change. You see, if you had a decent typist using one of the typewriters with the efficient design, the keys would jam together. You either had to have a crappy typist, which no business wanted, or a crappy keyboard, which was the option agreed upon.

Years passed. The typewriter was improved, then discarded. Keys could be pressed at rapid speeds, with little to no force.

But one thing didn't change.

The keys stayed in the same place.

You see, it would be too hard to change it now. People would have to re-learn how to type. That would be unneccessary.

So now we're back to my day, when college students are basically given the same amount of paper to type as professional assistants, and a problem erupts. I feel it even now.

When the old keyboard was made, the idiots who okayed the design were aware of a little flick of the wrist which would need to be made, often, and which could lead to some problems...

They thought it was pretty good. Then their secretaries would slow down even more, because typing would hurt. You see, if a person didn't get above a high school or vocational school education, business people thought they deserved to suffer. They thought it would teach those slackers a lesson to get excruciating pain in their wrists and hands, to be plagued by limited mobility, calcification of the joints and tendinitis. That was cool. It wasn't their problem.

And with the computer revolution, the only thing that changed was: that problem became mine.
I don't know what the heck is the matter with me right now. I sure hope it isn't carpal tunnel.

But it really hurts. Bad. So you understand, when I don't post a blog a day. I have to type it. You guys just have to use a mouse. Which, by the way, I can't use with my right had at all anymore.

So know, I haven't forgotten you. I will finish my comical romance. I just have to find an OTC pain reliever which will do its job before I lose both appendages for good.

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