Ten things I have done that you probably have not
I had a hard time with this, because lots of my friends have similar interests, but I did my best:
- Given a 40-minute presentation in Chinese, a language I had only studied for two years. [Edit: This was for work, to people who didn’t speak much English, rather than in class.]
- Dropped out of high school to go to college (OK, I bet a bunch of you have done that).
- Seen an original Old English manuscript in the flesh (well, skin, anyway).
- Painstakingly centered and right-justified lines on an IBM Executive typewriter.
- Typed entire college papers with nice-looking apostrophes by rotating the platen up a half line and using commas.
- Written a program in Z-80 assembly language to print proportionally-spaced mixed-case text on a printer that normally only printed capitals [edit: and used it to print my Russian homework].
- Invented a new Romance language as a child (I bet some of you have invented languages, but not intended to fit in as plausible relatives of real languages).
- Invented two imaginary writing systems as a child (I’m guessing most of you stopped at one).
- Conducted a long-distance relationship via (what would come to be called) electronic mail and instant messaging — before 1984. (See PLATO People.)
- Recited pornographic poetry in Esperanto for a sweetie. (She didn’t believe me that it was pornographic, so I had to translate it for her. In front of her co-workers. :-)