Friday, June 26, 2009

beyond the pale blue ink

I've been taking a lot of tests lately. It made me think of all the mimeograph handouts we were given throughout my school years. I guess you can tell that it's been a very long time since I was last in a class. I remember our bulletins at church were also printed using a mimeograph machine. Thomas Edison's machine had a nice long run with that patent. This old form of wax-stencil printing was eventually phased out as photocopiers took over. I read where the mimeograph machine is still being used in third world countries. You don't have to plug the mimeograph machine into a wall socket since it's manually operated. Maybe we will all have to go back to Edison's hand cranked printer as Americans are forced to "go green".

The quality of the mimeo print wasn't very good, but very economic and functional. My mind goes back to of all those tests and worksheets printed out in that pale blue ink. Year after year of going to school and having to look at all those problems to solve in that pale blue ink.

If I were a teacher today - it would be cool to hand out an exam on mimeograph print outs. I'd just quietly circulate the test around the room and then sit at my desk and act as though nothing was out of the ordinary.

I can imagine a young female voice ask, "What's THIS Mr. Finlayson?"
From behind my comic book I'd reply, "It's a test, mortal...take it."
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