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Why Is This Popular: Typewriter Schools

By: Steve Mullaney

If you’ve been walking around, especially in the parts of town that are farther away from Parque Central, you have no doubt come across the clickety-clack of various Academias de Mecanografia (typewriter schools).  In order to pass middle school in Guatemala, folks need to be typewriter-certified.  NOTE: This is not typing, this is typewriters.  Why typewriters? Why does Guatemala boldly cling to the latest technology from seventy years ago instead of teaching computer typing?  Fortuantely, this month’s WITP is looking out for you.

1) Come the 2012 apocalypse, this will look real smart. After the electrical grid is knocked out by the impending 2012 apocalypse, the most advanced technology will be the typewriter. The Guatemalan ministry of education is actually looking to the future—the hellish, electricity-free future.

2) When we do vintage, we don’t mess around. Anyone can wear leggings or throwback t-shirts, but if you are truly dedicated to proving your vintage cred, then you will want to make sure that you are lugging around a typewriter. Why do all the skaters up by INVO have large backpacks? They need to lug around their enormous typewriters.

3) The typewriting schools’ association is more powerful than rationality and the needs of students. Who do you think is paying for all of the campaign posters and propaganda? Obviously, a certain group of schools that needs some government influence.

4) Trying to prop up the faltering typewriter industry. As Guatemala’s third-largest industry, it is important to make sure that there are jobs continuously being created. Requiring all youngsters to go to these schools helps to make sure that there will be typewriter jobs available for future generations.

5) Crotchety folks. “Why, we’ve always had typewriting schools in Guatemala. Why on earth would we get rid of them? I went to typewriting school, my father went to typewriting school, my grandfather went to typewriting school.” etc.

Obsolete? No doubt. Useless? Not at all. As long as you’re hear to learn Spanish, you might as well pick up typewriting certification to impress your friends and make your parents proud.

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