I must be old, because I’ve done this before. I tell you what, it was a durn sight better then having to chisel those stone slabs, which was even better than smearing ochre on a cave wall with a stick.
I gripe about how poor my public school experiences were in science class — none of them were very good, and they completely shied away from the terrifying topic of evolution. But when I was in middle school, we had an absolutely phenomenal shop class. First half of the year was all drafting and technical drawing, and I loved that; second half, though, was typesetting and printing. I made a book! We set metal type, we used a press, we also did offset printing (using a photographic process), and then we had to bind it. These were slim sample books, so we didn’t have to do all that stitching, but a lot of what I’m seeing in the video is familiar, as in suddenly remembering the tactile pleasures of making something, about 45 years ago.
45 years ago. I still remember my teacher vividly — irascible old Mr Brown, with his spectacular Sam Elliott moustache and full head of Mark Twain hair, and his perfectionist ways. He was a strict disciplinarian, but it was OK because you could tell he really loved the craft of printing.
I imagine it would be hard to find a middle school that had similar equipment nowadays. Who needs to set type when you just fire up the page layout software and send it to the laser printer?