On January 29th Iowa Central students were greeted with free coffee and Valentine’s Day cookies for the Reading and Writing Center’s open house. The creative energy that flowed through this room reached its way to students all across the campus. The centerpiece of the event that drew in curious onlookers was getting to see a typewriter in action.
Advertisements for this event for students to stop by and create a typewritten poem for their Valentine. The poem itself could be custom made by the student, or they could receive help from one of the budding poets in the center. The idea was to give the writer a subject, or an idea to turn this into a piece of literature. Students that stopped in were able to test out the vintage typewriter themselves. It is safe to say that many people left that room with a newfound appreciation of how far technology has come, and that they are glad term papers do not have to be written on those classic machines.
Jeanina Messerly said that the original inspiration to get a typewriter into the center was because of an experience that she had in Denver, Colorado. She said, “I remember walking down a particular street in Denver, and people just had typewriters out and were writing things for people that were intrigued by it. I thought that was so inspiring, and such a unique thing to have out on the streets like they did.”
Through the collaborative efforts of Reading and Writing Center (RWC) employees Steve Sutter and Jeanina Messerly, the event was a hit. Sutter liked the idea of getting a typewriter into the center for students to learn how to appreciate and enjoy it. Both of the typewriters are relatively new to the center so Sutter exclaimed, “I love any excuse to get out the typewriter and somehow put it to use. It’s been fun to have it in here, and to see how well the students are responding to it. It’s also interesting to watch the kids try to figure out how to effectively use older technology like this.”
Upon spending time in the RWC, you will find that you have learned a piece of interesting information that you might not have known before from someone in the RWC. Today’s interesting fact that I acquired is as follows: did you know that Tom Hanks, an American actor and filmmaker, is obsessed with typewriters? The actor is so infatuated with these machines that he wrote a book of short stories that are all somehow inspired by and linked to a typewriter. The book is titled Uncommon Type, so check it out sometime if you desire to.
The RWC staff is always coming up with new ways to let students share their creative talents. This month the focus was typewriters, so stay tuned to see what the next few months will bring.