When I was a junior in high school, my mother insisted I take typing. She used to say “No matter what, you can always get a job typing!” So, my first class was filled with much anticipation of learning how to master this weird looking machine. Now mind you, the photo above looks nothing like what I started with. My typewriter was a manual version. Yep, the kind without electric.
As I took a seat in the third row back (I always sat in the same spot), a man entered the room who literally was close to 100 years old (or so I thought being the ripe old age of 16 I was. He shuffled into the room with a pencil in his hand and pulled down the typewriter chart in the front of the room. After taking role and scratching his grey hair several times with the eraser part of the pencil, he made everyone sit back in their seat and put their 8 fingers on the center row of keys. Slowly, we all pecked at two keys at a time… “A,S…. A,S, A,S….S,D….S,D and so on and so forth. By the third week, I was on to this party and knew I was well on my way to an A in this class.
In my senior year of high school, I moved onto the heavier stuff… Typing 2!. It was there that the electric typewriter was introduced. This was the big leagues and we were all timed and graded on how fast we could type. I never understood why we had to type fast. If it was correct, who cared how fast I could get it done! For one straight hour, nothing possibly could enter your mind because the screaming of 30 other electric typewriters working at Daytona speed drummed into my eardrum. It wasn’t until I went for my first office job interview that they put me in a room with an electric typewriter and timed me for 5 minutes of straight typing.
Learning to work a typewriter seemed to be quite an accomplishment. If only learning to use a computer, a camera, a flash meter, Quick Books, fixing a printer jam, designing albums, uploading to labs, and on and on… would be as straight forward as Mr. Keller’s first semester typing class.
As I write this blog, it is 9:30 at night. Most people are relaxing in front of the box watching their favorite shows. Being in business for yourself is a constant dive into “how to” books, manuals, podcasts, networking and so on and so forth. I wish it was as easy as just learning how to type.
Sometimes you just have to keep pushing forward and learning new things to keep your head above the crowd. I do yearn for those younger years when the phone was attached to the wall, no one called after 9:00 p.m. and no one worked on the weekends. But, we all must rise with the tide. Hopefully, I won’t have to read any more manuals in 2017!
P.S. I made both my kids take “typing” in high school as well! By then, they called it “keyboarding”. No one finger typers in this family!