Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mother's Bad Advice

When I was in high school, my mother told me: "Don't take typing. That way you won't end up being a secretary."

This is probably the worst advice ever. I had to pay friends to type my long papers in college. Remember: back then white out ruled and carbon paper. Cut and paste? Didn't exist. One mistake and you had to retype the entire page, sometimes the entire manuscript.

My husband says typing was the most useful course he took in high school. "No homework." He even enrolled in Typing II after a year of Typing I.

One summer in my 20s, I finally taught myself on a machine like the one pictured here. My husband and I were working on an estate in northern Maine--a remote spot where I had afternoons off. We had no car, nowhere to go anyway, and I had a series of interviews to type up. So I found a touch typing book and got started.

A traveling typewriter sales and repair man actually made house calls, bringing me new ribbons and taking machines away for repairs. Typing took a lot of finger strength.

My daughters say: "Mom, you bang so hard on your poor Mac."

And I say, "Yeah, and you girls learned how to type in high school."


Anonymous said...

I so wish I had mastered typing earlier on. I took a week long Katherine Gibbs class and I think I got up to 30 words a minute. I was proud at the time.....My only other experience was during one high school summer. I had a bed sheet with the keyboard drawn on it tacked to the wall and a spiral book of typing lessons. Not a lot more progress. Thank goodness for computers but I still have to look down at the keys. Do they teach basic computer typing skills to kids in school now or is that considered too basic?

Garden Girl said...

I made a C in Typing, the only C of my entire school career, and I'm still not very speedy and have to look at the keys. Thank goodness for spell check!