Saturday, October 14, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 7

When you sit down and are confronted with a blank canvas (or blank white screen), you hope that you have an idea at the ready to fight against the vacuum.

But sometimes you don't. 

And so you sit down and you just start typing the words that appear in your mind's eye as fast as you can and try not to think too much about self-editing while you are also getting too bogged down with clever vocabulary, run-on sentences, proper punctuation, and trying to fix spelling errors as the words appear on the screen.

And you wonder where you should put the paragraph breaks.

And you wonder why there are some consonant combinations that you always mistype ("dl" when you mean "ld"). And you try to ignore (ingore?--really?) the squiggly lines that are appearing in the lines above because right now you are simply trying to typ and not trying to edit and good lord as you do this the squiggly lines are just appearing in massing numbers and its embarrassing but so what? You'll fix it later and the future reader won't know.

But simultaneously, part of your brain is thinking about that time in college when you were applying for a campus-based job and you had to take a typing proficiency test as one of the requirements for the job application. So you sat down in front of a 90s keyboard (a Windows clone or an honest to God IBM-made computer . . . who remembers now? You know, those dirty white, sort of beige colored computers that might actually have been off-white sometime in its early use but due to human skin oils and South Georgia sunlight has been altered into some other color that I'm just now going to call tired)  . . .

(where is the thread of this story? where is the paragraph break? should this be edited later?)

. . . anyway . . .

So, you're sitting down and performing this typing test and you've got some paragraph of text on the desk beside the tired keyboard and you have 60 seconds (is 60 seconds a more effective descriptive than one minute? is one minute less impactful than 1 minute? does anyone care?)

And so, you've got 60 seconds to type as much as you can as accurately as you can. And that is only part of the job application. But you do it and though I don't remember precisely how the person said it, I know that they suggested that they were impressed by my typing proficiency and output in this. And isn't it odd that such a random and completely unimportant compliment (is it?) has stuck semi-firmly in my brain for . . . . pausing typing to calculate . . . almost 25 years? 

And so, as I stream of consciousness my way down this screen that was once blank and is now full of mistyped words, you can see how my brain decided to remind myself of when I was more nimble and my future was also blank and full of promise--much like this screen was also once blank and full of promise.

. . .

Damn, David . . .

You did it. You actually stream of consciousness-ed your way to something semi-profound and you had no idea how you were going to get there. But you did it.

You can't accomplish this stuff watching football.

So don't do it.

Until next week, when the screen will be blank once again.

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