Saturday, December 14, 2013


I learned to type in 6th grade (age 12). I took a half-semester long typing class, required by my school. Then in 10th grade I took typing again, keyboarding actually, for an entire semester. That was the semester I broke my collarbone so for 3 weeks of it I typed from a book that taught people with one hand how to type across the entire standard keyboard. I am still pretty quick thst way but I make more mistakes as you can see here un this sentence.

I was never very fast, never more than about 40 wpm. But I only needed to type 33 wpm for an A in the class so I was set.

I am glad I learned to type.

This summer I helped Troy fill out an application for his son to go to kindergarten and he watched me type and commented on how fast I was. How he'd never really learned and still pecked with two fingers.

This school year I've had at least a dozen students comment on the fact that I can type quickly, without looking at either the screen or the keyboard. They take keyboarding starting in 3rd grade and yet aren't adept at all. I can text as fast as they can, too, I just use more actual words than they do so I take a bit longer. I'm also a fan of punctuation.

I thought about these comments, how these folks are younger than me by 15 or 25 years. And I thought about shorthand. When my mother-in-law writes a grocery or reminder list in shorthand I AM SO JEALOUS. I took a printmaking class before Fiona was born and an older woman in my class based all her prints on the now-secret language of shorthand. I wish I knew how to write shorthand, and yet, I don't have the time to try that out. I know how to develop black and white film by hand in a darkroom, I know how to churn butter, I know how to tune in a shortwave radio. I don't really need another antiquated skill. Do I? After all, I know how to type.


Mary Helen said...

I learned to type on an old Underwood typewriter of my grandma's. Then on an electric typewriter in high school. I still type on my computer with my palms up. I don't rest them on the keyboard. Too many years of holding my hands up to type. And I can still type fairly quickly. And without looking. :) It's a good skill to have. And I LOVE shorthand! I still use it when I take minutes at meetings. Some antiquated skills are just fun.

Indigo Bunting said...

I love to type. And I'm totally jealous of shorthand too.