In one of my first blog posts I promised I’d eventually get around to writing a blog post about my experiences of writing shorthand.
At my secondary school, Preston Technical College, from Form 3 (year 9) we were offered a stream of Commercial subjects. Science and Maths were never my thing (still aren’t) and although I was writing poetry, back then girls often trained as teachers, nurses, hairdressers or secretaries and certainly nobody I knew ever left school to become a Writer or Poet.
So from Form 3 I learned to type, and because I was also playing the piano, the typing came easily. Then from Form 4 (year 10), Pitman’s shorthand and stenography were offered. I remember having thoughts of being a court reporter, but in the end, after 3 years of typing and two years of shorthand plus other business subjects such as book-keeping (which I didn’t like so much – those dashed ‘numbers’ again), I was ready to join the workforce as a fully fledged Personal Assistant.
By sheer accident I ended up working for three large oil companies, H.C.Sleigh (Golden Fleece Petroleum), Ampol Petroleum and The Shell Oil Company as well as some temp secretarial work in London. I did the waitressing thing in Scotland (and cleaned toilets), aupairing in Rome and along the way (to support the travel bug) I served take-away chicken at Kentucky Fried and soft-serve ice cream at a shopping centre mall . . . somewhere.
So, back to the shorthand, my shorthand teacher was a wonderful lady and brilliant teacher called Mrs Dalton and somehow, although she’s lived in another state for many years, we still even now, exchange Christmas cards and about 5 years ago I visited her with my family.
Shorthand has been that useful thing in life I’ve never forgotten, something to fall back on in all sorts of situations and I suspect now, I never will.
Here’s a sample:
And this is what it says:
This is a demonstration of shorthand as I remember it.
At secondary school it was one of my favourite subjects
and one which I used in the workforce for many years.
When I started my Professional Writing and Editing course
I used shorthand a lot when I was taking notes in lectures
which meant I could write down most of what the lecturer
I am not saying this is perfect shorthand but even today
I still enjoy writing it very much.