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What Three Years of Grant Writing Looks Like

Two days ago, Isaac told me his keyboard was broken. Yesterday, I stopped by the office to take a look and try cleaning it. This, gentle reader, is what I found; more sensitive individuals may wish to avert their eyes:


That’s three years of proposal-writing detritus beneath the keys, as well as a warning about the hazards of Diet Coke and Trader Joe’s trail mix. Hundreds of proposals have probably been written over the course of this keyboard’s life.

Consider yourself warned, and educated too: if you have a keyboard that isn’t functioning properly, you can pop the keys off using a butter knife. Submerge them in soapy water, agitate, rinse the keys, and leave them to dry overnight. Clean the board itself with a q-tip or paper towel, taking care not to get inside the key wells themselves. Don’t submerge the board, which might harm its electronics. Then reattach the keys.

In Isaac’s case, the keyboard works. This is doubly good because he likes the Apple wireless keyboard depicted, but Apple no longer sells this model. Now the company offers chiclet keyboards, so finding the older white ones isn’t easy.

(I, on the other hand, preferred the One True Keyboard, or the IBM Model M, until I tried the Kinesis Advantage. People who spend a lot of time typing are apt to have strong opinions about their keyboards.)