Thursday, June 2, 2011

Writer's Bump

It is really odd when something that was so familiar to me is totally unknown by adults that are the age of my children. This phenomenon is becoming more common place for me lately.

It first started before my children became adults with the slide rule. My daughter was either in 5th or 6th grade when her teacher assigned the class to come to school with an artifact of the 20th Century. I thought that I had the perfect artifact, a hand-cranked cast iron coffee grinder painted in black with gold leafing. She refused to take it to school because frankly it was too heavy.

My husband and I struggled with finding a lighter weight example when it occurred to us that no one was using slide rules. I was a volunteer at UCLA and I suddenly realized that the huge slide rules that were hung in physics and chemistry lecture halls were not there. I don't know when they were removed, but probably with the pencil sharpeners that were in hallways and classrooms.

I knew where my old slide rule was. When I tried to show my daughter how to use it, I couldn't move it. It had been so many years since I last used it that it was stuck. A little WD-40 proved useful and allowed us the show our daughter how we used this device.

It was bad enough when adults with whom I worked had no idea who some of the rock stars of my youth were, but today was yet another awakening when I met with a doctor.

The middle finger of my right hand has been hurting for several days. Last night, I awoke with a throbbing pain in that finger. The top portion of the finger was swollen, hurt like h... and was hot and red. I was not able to get an appointment with my regular doctor so took an appointment with anyone who could see me today.

The doctor I saw today is a very young woman. I suspect that she has been practicing for only a couple of years. This is not a statement of her competency but of her age.

She looked at my finger and did see that I had swelling and the finger was hotter than the others. The side of my finger by the index finger was very painful to the touch and definitely was swollen. She was a little concerned about the area below the nail and above the first knuckle because it looked swollen to her as well.

I told her that it was my writer's bump. She looked at me as if I were a bit odd. She had not idea what a writer's bump was. So I told her that anyone who was my age, was older or was 5 to 10 years younger than me had a writer's bump. We had an interesting conversation about the writer's bump and why my generation has/had them.

She is of a generation who has had personal computers with applications for composing documents, letters, etc. with spell-checkers and auto-correction features. I even make extensive use of these tools because there are days that my fingers seem to do what they want and you can't read what I wrote.

I have transcribed records of events that were handwritten a hundred or more years ago and the writing in many cases was very difficult to read. About 1920 some records were typed so transcribing records became so much easier even though correction ribbons and write out didn't exist at that time.

Some bemoan the fact the "younger" generation is not learning penmanship, but what is the purpose of writing? To communicate! My writer's bump often hurt after writing pages and pages of a report for class assignment.

I, for one, am glad that writer's bump seems to be a thing of the past.

No comments:

Post a Comment