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annehart

annehart

In spite of a master's degree in English/creative writing, the only way I found jobs in the past 55 years was by using the touch typing skill I learned in the 7th grade

Graduated NYU more than 50

 

Photo and book by Anne Hart.

 

Graduated NYU more than 50-plus years ago, which is on the list of where the wealthiest students attend. When I went there, those I met were mostly middle-class. In most of my classes there were all women, one man perhaps in one class. Worked my way through by working in offices filing and typing. Back then a full-time schedule at NYU only cost $50 per credit/unit. So a 3-credit/unit course cost me only $150 for each course. Good old days, but I had to work full time to pay for my school full time in alternate years. Yes...it took 6 years to yet through, but I did graduated by age 23.

My first job paid $36 a week, full time, right out of high school, but I went to college nights for two years before being able to afford full-time days at the university. Saved almost every penny for tuition. Rode home nearly an hour after night classes on the subway. In those days, you'd see lots of students riding home after evening classes. Worked days and finally finished a master of arts degree in English/creative writing years later in California at a state college.

Since there were so many more people trained to be teachers in creative writing than there were jobs for at the community college level that I wanted, the reality for me is that the only skill that kept me getting one temporary typing job after another was that 7th grade touch typing course. The way into a job back then was to pass a company's typing test at the speed and accuracy they wanted.

Probably, I would have earned more money back then in the late 1950s and early 1960s by skipping college and getting a real estate license or by majoring in a subject a lot more in demand such as statistics/math or computer engineering/biomedical engineering. But of course, working all day in an office and going to school in the evenings for five to six years is exhausting....So I picked the major that was easiest for me to handle at the time, an English/creative writing (education) major. The final exam required reading published plays for hours.

Do I recall what the dialogue in the plays said after all these years? Not really, but I did get the hang of writing pretty good dialogue in my own scripts and plays, even though they really didn't sell. So I had them published myself print on demand many decades later....The joy of reading them made it all worth the college years, because that dialogue really did make me smile, and smiling is healthy. Darn...I like those plays and novels, and so...there's that contentment, satisfaction, and serenity of having performed the process of writing.

Glad to have earned my B.S. there, but I might say, nothing I learned in any university ever helped me find a permanent, secure job. What supported me was the 7th grade touch typing class and passing typing tests that ever landed me any job, even if the work was temporary typing for zillions of businesses. You may wish to check out the article: "Where the Ultra-Wealthy Go to School."