School approves budget for 2005-06 school year
School Approves Budget for 2005-06 School Year
Typewriters for each student to form significant portion of budget
The St. Xavier High School Board of Trustees (SXBOT) this week announced the approval of its $360 billion annual budget for the 2005-06 school year. Among the typical allocations – SmartCarts™, SmartBoards™, and SmartPeople™ – the budget for next year includes a surprising addition: funds will be allotted for the purchase of typewriters for each student, beginning with a pilot program for the Class of 2009.
This comes on the heels of the personal PDAs that were proposed for each student three years ago. With the new program, the school hopes to surpass Archbishop Moeller High School as the city’s leader in educational technology and position itself at the forefront of student productivity. “We’ll definitely have more advanced technology than [Moeller] will,” Principal David B. Mueller ’72 said in response to a Blueprint inquiry. “Typewriters beat laptops hands down.”
As a majority of students are undoubtedly aware, the school already owns a typewriter, located in the John F. Hussong Writing Center. “I think this is a good thing,” said Mr. James Downie, who uses the existing typewriter on a regular basis. “Too many students currently use the typewriter; this should shorten the line, so that I can start typing again.”
Others were not so enthusiastic when they learned of the decision to fund this program. “Now I’ll have to teach [the students] how to type, how to use the correction tape, how to clear the margins, and how to turn [the typewriter] on,” complained Ms. Julia Conlon, Chief Information Officer at the school. “They should have contacted me about this first.” Ms. Conlon is now considering replacing the many computers around the school with nickel typewriters. (Due to inflation, however, five minutes worth of typing will cost three dollars.)
Several freshman expressed concern that they would not be able to play games with the new typewriters, and that their graphing calculators would soon be replaced with analog adding machines. In class yesterday, Mr. Mark Hoar assured his students that they would be taught how to program their typewriters, using the ubiquitous Machine Code language.
The school still has to work out several pressing issues, such as the actual model of typewriter that will be used. A leading candidate for the program is the 80’s-era, American-made Smith-Corona Electra XT series, selected for being small and lightweight. It weighs a mere ten pounds, and its durable, black carrying case measures 16″×14″×5″. Unlike the ink used by the numerous printers throughout the school campus, characters printed using the Electra XT are erasable, using a standard pink rubber or plastic eraser.
Many members of the Board feared that its lack of a 1 (one) key will cause students unnecessary confusion as they accidentally press the 2 key instead. Mr. Jim Brower, however, reassured the Board by proving that 1=2. The user is expected to press the L key, which will yield a lowercase letter l, but a mathematical solution was deemed more elegant.
The English department is apparently in favor of the Electra XT, because many famous authors, including Joseph Heller, Joyce Carol Oates, William Styron, and Allen Ginsberg, have used the portable model in the past. The department hopes that future students at St. Xavier will carry on this important literary tradition.
This article was originally submitted to the Blueprint’s Backside section, but was never published. It is reprinted here for your reading enjoyment.