The love of words and the joy of reading and writing played a major role in my taking a secretarial course at St. Mary’s Secretarial College in 1974. Within one year, the principal, pleased with my proficiency in composing business correspondence and my shorthand and typing speed, asked me to help her with her office duties, three afternoons per week, in lieu of fees. I was thrilled because I got the opportunity to test drive a career in the secretarial field.
That stint was the highlight of my time at St. Mary’s Secretarial College. As I excelled in those duties, Mrs. Aird knew, she told me, that she could not keep me there any longer. She sent me for my first interview and lost me to my first employer.
My love affair with words and writing, grew more intense with each new job I applied for and increased administrative duties in the ensuing years. Eventually, I moved on to other interests and passions but at the heart of each, words and writing simmered.
I enjoyed learning and using the computer version of secretarial work but my love of shorthand remained. Naturally, writing shorthand dwindled as Work Perfect, Word Processing and Microsoft Word enveloped my life and my work. But I have a treasure I continue to cherish – my mother’s copy of a shorthand instructor.
The Pitman’s Key to Shorthand Instructor
|Pitman’s Key to Shorthand Instructor
Bought 14/02/1944 at TT$1.32
Her step-father bought it for her. He paid TT$1.32 on February 14th, 1944. She gave it to me in August 1974. The pages are falling away from the binding and the spine is barely intact but oh the love I have for this treasure, for this “antique” and the gratitude to my mother for placing it in my hands.
I have neither time nor reason to dabble in shorthand lately, but I still keep this treasure on my desk. Nevertheless, every once in a while I do one or two of the exercises – just for fun and just to honour the memory of my mother and my dormant love for shorthand.