I did a lot of darkroom work all through high school. In the summers I worked for the board of education and did darkroom work for them as well. Most of the stuff I did was for weekly newspaper runs or portraits. The layout work wasn't bad if you took the time to keep the camera clean. I'd wash the lenses and table every day so I didn't have to spend as much time with the opaque cleaning up my negatives.
Ah the good old days... Do you guys remember hand set type? As in letter press work? I see that old equipment in museums now and every time I comment on it people look at me like the stuff has been out of use since they finished building the pyramids in Egypt! Ah yes, the good old days... I was a monster on the Linotype machines too!