The evaluator was a cheerful, lovely woman, probably in her late 60s. She sat at the end of the table, listening intently and rapidly writing notes on a notepad. Every so often she would look down at her words, ask a few questions, then continue to scribble on the pad.
"Are you writing in shorthand?" a young team member asked in disbelief. The woman smiled, then nodded. I was astounded. Who still does that? And what 20 year old even knows what shorthand is? I wanted to hug both of them. (I've been this way lately when it comes to things nostalgic).
In high school I took shorthand, because it was required and according to my teacher, necessary. Black girls had limited career choices, she explained, and If I didn't want to clean houses, my only other option was to become a secretary and that was dependent upon if I could pull my "C" up to at least a B+.
I ended up with a B- and I haven't had a career as a domestic or secretary (though I was the assistant to a vice president of a well-known of banking institution). To this day, I can't read or write shorthand - but, my mother can. She still takes notes in shorthand while listening her pastor's sermon or while taking minutes at one of her meetings. It's still confusing with its scribbles and scratches, but nevertheless, it's shorthand. The "secret" code of writing from days gone by.