I am a chalkboard girl in a touchscreen world.
From the time I entered first grade, I have loved chalkboards.
I liked the smell of chalk and loved taking erasers out to the playground to pound the dust out of them.
I even had a little chalkboard of my own and can still see it in my mind’s eye. In yellow paint across the top of that board were drawings of a ball, a house, a sailboat, and a flower.
Many times I set my dolls and stuffed animals in a makeshift classroom and “taught” them using that little chalkboard.
Though I hold memories of my own chalkboard and the ones that covered the walls of my school classrooms, I can’t remember the last time I saw one.
Chalkboards have gone the way of clipboards and carbon paper.
I won’t deny that in many ways computers have simplified our lives. More than simplifying them, computers have made it possible for us to perform acts that, back in the chalkboard era, would have seemed like magic.
Last Thursday, I talked face-to-face with a friend in Japan using Skype.
Yesterday I selected, ordered, and paid for a new bedspread using only my computer.
Later today I will pay bills, without leaving my house, using paper and a pen, or utilizing envelopes and stamps.
But I miss the simplicity of a chalkboard.
Mistakes were easily corrected, and starting over required only the swipe of an eraser across the board’s surface.
On chalkboards, I practiced long division and competed in ciphering matches.
Daily assignments were written on a designated area of the classroom chalkboard. The week’s spelling words were displayed.
Often the day’s date was printed across the top of the board, along with a reminder like Make Today a Good Day or Kindness Counts.
What person of my age never drew on a chalkboard a heart with a secret such as D.J. loves D.S. printed inside it?
In a contest, computers would, without a doubt, outperform chalkboards. It seems there is almost nothing a computer cannot do.
But they can also be maddening and bring out the worst in their users.
My computer tempts me to say a bad word quicker than anything else in my house, except maybe my hot curling iron when it grazes my forehead.
Not even once was I tempted to smash a chalkboard with a hammer or throw it out my window.
Because many of you know I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, I will include one more graphic that includes a chalkboard.
It is one of my favorite OCD funnies.