Saturday, October 22, 2005

Keystrokes

I remember taking typing class way back in high school, a suggestion by my mom 'so I could type my term papers in college'. Yeah right! All the rows of desks with typewriters on them, when your choices were pica or elite type size, all caps or not, and that was about it. The backspace key took you a space back, but it sure didn't erase anything! I thought it was a fun diversion from literature and biology and algebra, but was skeptical that I would actually use it some day.

Thank goodness for the evolution of the typewriter into the computer! Our sixth grader just took 9 weeks of 'keyboarding' in middle school. We were impressed that they were teaching a good practical skill at such an early age (11). Until we heard the method. She had to memorize the rows of keys out of a textbook and write them down (yes, write with a pencil) over and over. This went on for 9 weeks, I don't think she ever saw an actual keyboard, and now that the short course is over, she doesn't know anymore about the mechanics of typing (sorry - keyboarding) than she did before.

But then we were really excited when our 3rd grader came home saying she was learning to type! She proceeded to show us the proper hand position she had learned, and described how the timed exercises worked. My faith in the education system is restored. Of course, this is at the previously mentioned Oakland Elementary, can't say enough about their methods!

Nowadays typing/keyboarding is a part of most folks' lives, some more than others. I am glad I took typing in high school, little did I know that I would be typing for a living at this point in my life. And then to pick a hobby (blogging) that keeps me here in this computer chair even more hours.

This is how I feel after a week in this chair:

Evolution

Now, it's Saturday and time to get up and out!

2 comments:

Alice said...

I remember typing classes at high school back in the mid 50s where we tried to learn to type to music. Supposed to help with our rhythm, but I was never very good at following music and didn't learn to type either. Thirty years later I learned to type at Evening Classes and then worked in offices for the next 18 years.

I found a good way to memorise the keys when I was learning was to have a large picture of a keyboard at the front of the classroom. I would look at that picture and type the alphabet over and over without looking at the keys. I didn't worry too much about learning number positions or any of the top row, so I still have to look at the keys when using them.

Pleased to hear that Oakland school came up 'trumps' again.

Seeing Anew said...

Hahahaha! I'm enjoying your blog too much this morning. I just have to laugh about these typing experiences, especially the unusual paper teaching method at the middle school. My daughter took "keyboarding" in high school. They had keyboards all right! My daugther had two in fact...because on one, the Tab key didn't work, and on the other one, the backspace didn't work. So when she got to a new paragraph or made a mistake, she had to unplug one keyboard from the computer and plug in the other. This made for rather stressful timed tests! Ok...I'd better get to work now!