Part 3: Cursing in my Classes

September 11, 2008

Before I bring Random family cursing up to the the modern day, describing an incident involving Random Granddaughter being shocked by Grandma’s raw language, I will describe a couple of incidents of dreadful language that have taken place in my work as a computer instructor.

Years ago, at my previous teaching job, an airline pilot working for one of the major airlines was a student in a WordPerfect class (back in the days when WordPerfect for DOS still ruled the word processing world).

He was friendly,  personable, and charming, and spoke in that West Virginia drawl so well described by Tom Wolfe in <i>The Right Stuff</i>.

Everybody immediately liked him. About half an hour into the class, some eccentric action on the part of his computer disconcerted him and he exclaimed, “Oh, shit!” A couple of respectable matrons winced, but everybody (including me) pretended not to hear. The classes I taught at the time covered 12 hours over a two-day span. He must have repeated his little ejaculations half a dozen times in that two-day period.

I am not a “frequent-flyer” but I have taken fairly long flights about a dozen times or two. More than once as the plane starts bouncing and down, the pilot has offered the reassuring drawl, “We’ll be experiencing a little turbulence for a few minutes, folks, but we should be through it in a little while.” Once I hear that, I relax and return to my book, though I do clutch the  spine firmly.

I can’t help but wonder if passengers on this pilot’s flights heard something to the effect of, “Holy shit, that was a big one!” or “Mother of God, did you see how close that other plane came to us? Where in God’s name did he get his pilot’s license?!”

I’m afraid if I had been on one of his flights, it would have scared the shit out of me.

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8 Responses to “Part 3: Cursing in my Classes”

  1. giannakali Says:

    Hi,
    I just found you through David…and I’m having a great time on your blog…

    what a delightful writer you are!

  2. modestypress Says:

    Mike and giannakali, the vanity press monster thanks you for visiting my blog. Gianna I will read your blog as I get a chance.

  3. pandemonic Says:

    That’s so funny. I imagine that happens on a regular basis. I wonder if they replay the black box when there’s no plane crash, or does it automatically tape over the old trip? I’ll bet there’s some interesting expletives on them…

  4. giannakali Says:

    just so you know once you look at my blog the last several posts are not original…I do sprinkle non-original work in my blog all the time but it’s a little heavy right now as I’ve not been completely well…if you want to get a sense of the real nature of the blog scroll down a bit or visit the tabs at the top of the page…

    would be thrilled to know what you think…I really find you a wonderfully talented writer.

  5. Pete Says:

    Ahhh, Worperfect for DOS. I loved that program and used to teach it weekly. On my wall at work I have an original, unused 5-1/4″ Install disk for the program. It drawas a lot of comments, like “What is that thing?”

  6. modestypress Says:

    Well, if you’re going to “one-up” me on “legacy” computer hardware and software:

    My wife began our computing experience with an AM Varityper phototypesetting machine with no disk storage whatsover and a “buffer” (RAM) that was probably 128K (“Megabytes” would have been considered something like a moon shot).

    When I did start using actual PCs, my first word processor was WordStar.

    I used Microsoft Word 1 on DOS. Microsoft Word 1 on Macintosh. Microsoft Word 1 on Windows. I also dabbled a bit with Multimate and Leading Edge before i finally encountered WordPerfect.

    Our WordPerfect teacher got a job in Australia. I had a week to learn it before I was scheduled to teach it to a very large law firm in Portland.

    I had a lot of chutzpah in those days.

  7. modestypress Says:

    As usual, I am dyslexic. I meant to say, “My wife and I”


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