Ditto

The smell permeated the hallway closest to the office. Teachers had purple hands. Remember volunteering to retrieve copies in the office just to walk slow as a sloth while smelling the ink? Aw, good ol’ copies!

While attending college I worked at a child development center. There was a Xerox machine-very fancy! Teacher’s assistants were prohibited from its use.  Luckily, Kinko’s was close to college for projects. After graduation I landed my first teaching job. To say I was nervous is an understatement…oh boy-ANOTHER learning curve!

I learned immediately who runs the school-the secretary! Attending my first equipment training was nerve-wracking. My palms were sweaty and my knees shook staring at the MONSTROUS machines. The smell knocked me right back to high school.  “What year is it?,”I thought. This was my first official training on the job.  Thankfully, other newbies were in the same boat. We bonded over fear. It was our initiation to the purple hands club! Nervously I was worried I would break the machines. And lose my job. There was a ditto machine AND a mimeograph.  Carbon copy became two particularly important words. I can remember pressing SO hard to ensure it transferred. ALAS, I GOT TO CRANK THE HANDLE AND MAKE MAGIC!  Getting the ink off my hand was not as much fun as I had thought.  Did I hear the tenured teachers laughing?  Paper was limited. Once you hit your limit on copies for the week copying time was over!  The number of copies needed determined which machine to use (I remember a dinosaur duplicator).  Within two years there was a Xerox copier. All masters had to be sent to the secretary. One learned fast the appropriate time to send a copy folder. Waiting until the last minute, unprepared, would give you a score in the loser’s column. Copies stressed me out. More than once I was sure our school had destroyed the entire rainforests of South America. Is it possible that all the copiers running in the world has contributed to Global Warming? Probably.

Using the chalkboard, other than writing straight, was easy. Inhaling chalk dust had been my norm since the days of eraser cleanings in elementary school.   The dry erase board appeared and voila! …colored fingers again! An overhead projector was wheeled into each classroom.  “Are we rich?”  My own cart too?”  Two computers and several floppy discs arrived soon after. “Windows 95” colorfully decorated the screens.

Pic courtesy–Pinterest

Remember my learning curves? They continue to twist. There are some I’ve conquered! Yippee! But a few are a tad bit crazy and winding.  For a few years I felt I had the upper hand on technology.  Or at least could stay in its lane

here’s the breakdown of my curvy and winding past 1 1/2 year road:

Begin with prayer. Move forward with lifelong dream to write (scary enough). Build website. Start a blog. Pray. Publish writing on website (arrgh…. how do I even USE WordPress?). Maintain website. Pray. Read each day. Find your tribe. Pray. Get advice from tribe. Communicate with tribe.  Pray. Decide to author a book. Bang head against a wall. Pray. Bang your head one more time for not praying longer. Determine what to write. Pray. Find a coach. Pray. Take more classes. Pray. Create a schedule. Set a budget. Pray. Use social media. Bang your head on something softer. Pray. Start an author’s Instagram account. Pray. Take marketing classes. Pray. Join LinkedIn. Pray. Twitter? Ug…Pray harder! Facebook? (Nope…can only focus on one or two). Begin your own L.L.C. or D.B.A. for self-publishing. Pray. Check daily emails and support your supporters. Get in nature. Pray. Get in nature again. Pray. Create writing idea. Find an illustrator. Learn new publishing software. Continue learning after mistakes. Learn marketing software. Flip a coin. I mean, pray.

Try not to just wave at family and friends only on your journey. Stop and get out regularly. Look up. Get off the screen. Use love, support, and care to manage the corners. Breathe. It is not life and death-although learning can feel that way.  

The advancements are amazing (especially in keeping up with family)! I love learning! But everything has its limitations. And occasionally, I miss the simplicity in the smell of the purple copies and dusty chalk hands.

Hit publish.  Pray.

Have faith 💚

60 thoughts on “Ditto

  1. atimetoshare.me

    I love this post. It brings back lots of memories both good and bad. I’ve just come off a week of celebration with family and friends. It’s been wonderful rebounding and almost feels normal again. I hope it’s here to stay. BTW prayers are a necessary component for getting through each day, as you said.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kathy 💛 I’m so glad you’ve had celebrations with family~so needed! Let’s pray it stays and when it doesn’t, jump on here for hugs and encouragement sweet lady. 🙏🏻❤️💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I use to love that hand cranking inky machine—loved filling in the toner.
    As a student I was so happy to carry back a stack of warm delightfully scented purple inked papers—as a young educator, I hated having waited nearly too late to get my copies made as the machine was on it’s last cranking leg!
    And who didn’t love the overhead projector???—now it’s all about smart boards—ode to the good ol days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Julie! I meant to add Smartboards! Now that was a learning curve too. At Middle School a grant provided a laptop for every 2 students (before one-to-one) and each teacher had a board. We were all learning together! And now my technology fits in my hand lol. 💛🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember when our school first got computers—it was mainly for electronic grade books— and teachers were playing solitaire or taipan— finally there was a World Wide Web and things really got interesting 🤨

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes! I came into the career with the new technology lol. And I loved the game, The Oregon Trail. I always taught a unit called, “Westward, Ho!” Thematically, I had kids cooperating, communicating, and project-based. Hmm 🤔

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  3. I liked the way they were cold. Since I was a paralegal and a secretary, all this stuff came into my world with different imperatives. I don’t think that made me more popular with department secretaries when I evolved into teaching full time. In China, though, where I put a little book together for my students, I won the undying respect of the typists for doing my own book along with them in the typing pool and not compelling them to do it. They had to type in languages they didn’t even know from manuscripts my Chinese colleagues gave them in long hand. I guess I probably even helped them out, but I don’t remember. We used ditto masters, not mimeograph. I didn’t do the printing or collating or stapling, but I was there typing like a trooper. It made me look like a good communist, oddly enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Martha, what experiences overseas. The mimeograph was gone before the ditto machine. And everything seemed to be called “dittos” (or is it dittoes? Lol). It doesn’t surprise me you did your own typing…talk about the learning curves you’ve mastered! 💛❤️🤗🐶

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha ha ha! That took me back. I love your line “. . . hit your head on something softer”. That could be a metaphor for life. I credit my mother with saying ‘ chin up and eyes forward, it’s the only way to get things done’. Kudos my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It does indeed test us on our journey kind lady, it all does. But you do realise it is just prodding the love inside us, regardless of purple hands, technology or do I hit the snooze button again or not 😂 🤣
    Trip, stumble and even those eureka moments are giving us a glimpse at that persistent, lovely beating heart inside us all. And you know what, when you finally, truly see it all for what it is…you wouldn’t have it any other way ❤️ 🙏🏽
    Regardless where your currently at Karla, nothing like a smile and a hug from another wanderer cleaning the purple off their hands so it doesn’t go all over your nice white blouse. Have faith in your steps, whichever one’s they are. They’re all taking you within…and home 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always enjoy hearing your wisdom, Mark. You should know it’s NEVER safe for me to wear white 😅. All of these experiences have shaped how I tackle challenges. And you are right, the faith takes me where I need to be. Thank you my friend! 🙏🏻💛🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, the simplicity but I might add, the complexity of “things that once had smell”. If smell is the fastest path to memory, then we will be devoid of many things in the future, perhaps because they lack a smell. (Chalk on chalk boards! Yes! Smell an touch!)

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  7. I recall some of those monstrous machines, Karla. You took me down memory lane with the purple hands. The overhead projector, floppy discs……the only constant is change. Interesting about “find a coach.” Egad, publishing software….marketing software. Yes, a learning curve. I love how you wrapped the story full circle and your last two paragraphs. A great post! You are an inspiration!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica, your encouragement and feedback are so appreciated! It means a lot to me. I’m so happy it brought back memories for you. Your comments are touching. Thank you so much. ❤️🙏🏻🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jpayne98

    Happy to be supportive and blessed to have you in my life. Please bang your beautiful head on something soft. Love the stroll down memory lane I can still remember the smells of the office. Great post. Love always J. ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This certainly brought back memories! My mother taught 1st grade and she made lots of copies. Or rather I made copies for her. Yes it was a mimeograph machine and she would send me to the office and expect me to literally crank out pages and pages of worksheets… I can still smell that particular odor!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you Eddie. I’m feeling like myself for sure! Letting go of sad goodbyes to see the joy in every day. I’ve got things to accomplish! I’m so blessed. You have a beautiful and peaceful day too my friend; everyday!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post! Really brings me back to the good old days. I felt those days were as permanent as the ink on the mimeographed pages! How wrong I was. How does it all change in a blink of an eye? Just have to somehow have faith that it all works out the way it is supposed to! 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend. It’s been a wonderful weekend of adventure and celebrating Dad! I’ll put it as a win in the winner’s column. I’m so blessed! Have the most blessed and abundant week! 💛🙏🏻☕️🤗

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  11. Congratulations, Karla. You are a singular success here. Anybody who tried to copy you would fail, miserably.
    Thank you for bringing back my memories of being part of the classwide movement to take in that aroma of a new ditto passed out by the teacher. I’m surprised our noses didn’t turn a bit blue along with our hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark, thank you. Your words are overwhelmingly humbling. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. And yes to the blue noses! Ha! I’m sure I had marks on my face and clothes a lot due to the excess color we like to use within cinder blocks of learning! 🙃🙂

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  12. kriddy70

    I love this post!! I was taken back years just seeing Kinko’s!😁 I laughed way too hard when you said “loser’s column” and running copiers potentially being the start of Global Warming. Mousie, I see you in your pretty skirts and teacher dress and doing it all with your smile and laughs. The year is 2021 and the copier is still my #1 nemesis and the fax machine is still pretty cool. Lol. Can you do a blog about passwords please?? It took me 22 minutes to remember, reset, follow instructions, fail..repeat..and FINALLY success…just to tell you your learning curves have been an incredible journey. I love how you think, stop, process, pray– then pray again. That is what thing we can do sans technology. I love you… Kriddy❤🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the smiles in this response, wombmate. It’s so fun when these memories hit and you must write! I really started the style of Walmart skirts and tennis shoes, flannel and cowboy boots on Fridays lol. Passwords and I have a love/hate relationship. I waste a lot of time resetting them. Yes, I have them written down~but then forget to REWRITE changes. Jesus saves. Chrome not always and then I’ll Google and it didn’t remember it. Oy vey. I’ve balanced my frustrations with my victories, and it keeps me winning the war with this century. I think 🤔. I go at a realistic and personal pace.
      Your love and support mean everything to me. I love you. 💜💛❤️🤗👭

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      1. You are welcome! Congratulations on the new house and I’m happy to hang in there with you in the world of publishing. I’m stumbling, fumbling, and a’rumbling. 😂💛🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh man, I remember cleaning erasers outside at the curb in elementary school! And the rare chance at getting to take a worksheet to the secretary and ask her to copy it for a teacher. I think the teachers figured out that if they sent it with a kid, the secretary was a softie who wouldn’t tell us what she really thought of the on-the-spot request! I do remember walking as slowly as possible to get back to the class. The smell was intoxicating almost, but also, the longer it took to get the worksheets, the less chance we had to actually do it that day. I was taking one for the team, really. 🙂 Great post, and you are rocking these learning curves. Keep praying and following the dreams God has placed in your heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!!!! Yes to everything you write my friend! I love “I was taking one for the team, really.” That’s classic, Sondra!😂 your kind comments and encouragement help ignite my intentions. I so appreciate you. I’m just up the road if we need to drive to any day dreams! ❤️💛💚

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  14. Pingback: Ditto – Tech By Ghosh

  15. ephesians413

    Ah yea, such fond memories of the ditto machines … and saving those ditto masters just in case I could eek out a few more copies from them. Hehe. Over the years, it has certainly been a challenge to keep “up to date” on technology, even harder as one gets older. Perhaps the hardest was moving totally online over spring break in March 2020, working all day every day to support freaking out students. God help us all as we continue to move into the future! Thank you for this “remember all the way God has led you” moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and the memories. I can’t imagine teaching everything online; although I’ve taken many classes that way. Thank you for the support and kind words!

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  16. Ditto! This post takes me down memory lane back to the fall of 1978 (my first year of teaching). I almost started sneezing from the chalk dust, and my fingers resembled white or yellow sticks. As for dittos, I must confess I made a few miscues in text copy and with machine. I taught typewriting, and all of the machines were manuals. What a journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Learn, learn, and learn. The best days in life are ones in which we learn, and pray, and share with others, and take on board what they have to share with us. Prayer in itself is a wonderful way to learn from God about our ourselves.

    Thank you for sharing your journey over the past 1 and a 1/2 years. It fills me with hope, and a little bit of confidence that I’m taking steps in the right directions, even if it seems slow and like I’m only a fraction of the distance along the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, thank you for joining me on this journey! It makes my heart happy that my journey gives you hope and confidence. It’s very humbling. We’re all really just fractions in and think of where we get to go! We know what this road leads to; and to whom. I’m all of it, we’re in the best of hands because we chose to believe. Keep on moving at your pace with faith. I’m rooting for you! And God has you friend! 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

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