May 20, 2005

So it has come to this. On my last full day of school, I’m forced to play Settlers of Catan for at least three hours straight. Torture.

Well, I’m not sure I can actually call this “school,” since we have no classes and almost nothing to do. Last year, Harrison Sand, Richard Maxwell, John Fogg, and I brought a grill, but that was an utter disaster, so we decided to stay in, out of the rain.

I helped give some glowing reviews of St. X at the Senior Exit Interviews, but it was honest. St. X has been a wholesome experience for me, filled to the brim with controversy, which is where this blog comes in, of course.

My fourth MusicFest reminds me of my first: I haven’t gone outside yet (as of 1:49 PM), yet I’ve already spent nearly half an hour on the computer. Sad.

I don’t really have much to say today, since I’ve still got an aggravating cold. But if you’d like to reminisce in the comments section, feel free to.

May 7, 2005

School Approves Budget for 2005-06 School Year

Typewriters for each student to form significant portion of budget
Minh Nguyễn

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.

The Smith-Corona Electra XT is being considered for all students in the 2005-06 school year.

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.

The Electra XT lacks a one key, instead placing a margin release key next to the two key.

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.

Reliable sources indicate that the move may be motivated by an eleventh-hour decision by the College Board to allow typewriters “with QWERTY keypads” on the Writing section of the New SAT this year.

This article was originally submitted to the Blueprint’s Backside section, but was never published. It is reprinted here for your reading enjoyment.

December 16, 2004

After being informed of my new Blueprint status by Chris Schlechter yesterday, I took to the pen, to defend myself against charges of being a heretic. (Someone actually disagrees with the Blueprint?! Blasphemy!) Read on…

Continue reading "Public Enemy № 1: In defense" »

  1. MusicFest 2005 and Senior Exit Interviews
  2. School approves budget for 2005-06 school year
  3. Public Enemy № 1: In defense
  4. Four more years either way
  5. Walk for X 2004
  6. Minor issues with diveorsity
  7. Spirit Day 2003
  8. Spirit Day 2002
  9. Betatesters on Strike
  10. Going, Going, GONE