So, the other day, I was mystified when I found the HT quietly hunched over a keyboard and looking quite concerned. I leaned in to see what was going on. Ah… He was working on a report. A report that had to be 500 words long. A report which was due the very next day. It was good to see that even the HT could be quiet when the occasion called for it.
Several hours later, the poor HT was still in the same spot, still trying to tap away (he doesn’t know how to type yet) but looking quite worn though not defeated. By now a small crowd of his subjects had gathered ’round to give him encouragement — and their computer time, which he desperately needed. When he stretched his now knotted up fingers, one of the few girls there volunteered to help him type if he dictated. This went on for some time. But then, alas, she had to go home. Then our security guard joined the crowd and told him he would dictate from the HT’s scribbles so that the HT wouldn’t have to keep trying to decipher his own words as he “typed.”
After a while, though, things got rough. There were only five minutes left until all of the computers in the library would shut down. (They are programmed to automatically do this near the close of the day.) The HT was in the last stretch — the ever-dreaded Bibliography, wherein he had to type in all of the addresses of the websites he had used as sources. Alas, the HT had missed copying and pasting them into a Word document, so now they all had to be entered by hand. Enter moi, fledgling “librarian” who saw a win-win possibility in this predicament. The security guard saw what I was about to do, and grinned. “So, what, you’re getting into the action too?” he asked.
I said to the HT, “Tell you what. I type 60 words a minute. I’ll type these bibliographical entries for you, but in return I ask you to do me two favors. One, please help this young kid sitting next to you to print out the webpage on Gorillas that he’s trying to print. Be nice to him – he doesn’t speak much English. And two…”
Here, I was interrupted. “I know, I know! Two is “be quiet,” right?”
“Yes, how did you know I was going to ask that?”
“Oh I know, I know, I have a loud voice.”
So we switched places, the HT to help the young non-English speaking kid to print out lovely gorilla photos, me to type up the HT’s bibliographical references. We printed out the report just in the nick of time, with the computer timing out right after I clicked Print. Smiles abounded.
The HT left the library happy, as did I, as did our security guard. The next day things were a tad bit quieter in the Chess Kingdom. All praise the Holy Terror.