or 3×5 cards as they were known back in the day where most of the world was on the English/Imperial system of measurement. I was familiar with them as a child because every adult female seemed to have a collection upon which favorite recipes were written. And there were all sorts of fun and wonderful special boxes for these cards. After all, wouldn’t that just be the best present for any little girl in the 1950s? Channel her straight into her role as chief cook and bottle washer? (Sarcasm folks). But as I am sure those of us who date from that era can testify – most small presents, from household items, to books, were very definitely along societies gender expectations and stereotypes.
How did I get here? Oh, right – 3×5 cards. and WordPress is not capable of handling a post name which starts with a number. So I used the alternate name of recipe card which started me down the trail of…. oh, never mind.
I sincerely regret to inform you that 3 x 5 cards for the most part had little to do typewriters. Rather, as you did research for any particular subject, interesting facts, references, ideas of what to write each landed on its own card. When you figured you had collected enough information to put together enough pages that would meet the professor’s requirement, you sorted them into the best order possible, then wrote the paper from the parts. Most of us were not insane enough to either type out the cards – since that would have involved hauling a typewriter to the library for all those instances of using non-circulating reference materials. In fact, long hand was the preferred and most likely fastest method of producing a first draft. This draft was then edited into a reasonably acceptable form. Only then did fingers meet keys.
Meanwhile – It is really hard trying to concentrate on anything here in the hospital which is why I am ready to go back to 3×5 cards. They are much easier to use for a bit here and an idea there. No computer required. If one is being used, then I can avoid flipping between documents. All of which lessens the pressure and gives me the ability to organize the material in different ways.
My alternative to this point has been three documents open at the same time – an table of contents which is being filled in, a reference list, and finally – the note pad equivalent of my old standby – random paragraphs in note pad which I can cut and paste.
If I believed in superstition, I would arrive at UCSF tomorrow all ready to go with pens, cards, post it notes and my reference printed material organized and indexed to find that George’s white counts are continuing to climb, his platelets are holding steady and I can haul him home in the next 5-7 days. And then I get to start the commute to the clinic with him 2-5x a week all over again.