When I turned thirteen, my parents sent me to Sacred Heart College, a private Catholic girls’ school. We weren’t Catholic, but my parents seemed to think I would be safe there from the evils of boys and booze and cigarettes. It turns out they were wrong, but that’s an entirely different story.
I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I left school. I had narrowed it down to a doctor, an actress or an interior designer.
‘Take shorthand typing,’ my mother said. ‘You never know when you might need it.’
‘But I don’t want to be a secretary like you,’ I said. It wasn’t until much later that I realised how hurtful that must have sounded.
‘It will always come in handy,’ she said.
So twice a week I sat in a room with twenty-seven other pubescent girls and learned how to type. Sister Catherine, dressed in full nun finery, stood at the front of the room and shouted instructions to us.
‘A S D F,’ she said. ‘J K L semi-colon.’
We had small leather covers over the typewriter keys so we couldn’t look down at our hands. Sometimes Sister Catherine played a record on an old gramophone player, the sing-song voice teaching us how to type in time to music.
I am grateful my mother forced me to take typing lessons all those years ago.
These days, I can touch type exceptionally quickly and I don’t have to look at my fingers. Sometimes, I even type with my eyes closed.
My mother never could have predicted the invention of the computer along with the necessity to use a keyboard, but somehow she knew it would come in handy one day.
Did you learn typing at school?
What did your mother force you to learn that has come in handy later in life?
What are you grateful for today?
4 thoughts on “Typing Lessons • an unexpected blessing”
I was of the generation that had a computer class, even when really small. I learned to type on an old dinosaur of a PC, with a rolling ball built into the keyboard rather than a separate mouse. If we typed everything correctly, we’d get to see some sort of horribly rendered 8-bit image at the end as a ‘reward’, but we all liked the class because the teacher would shut the lights and it was kinda like playing a game for a whole class. I didn’t really learn most of my typing skills then, those came when I was a little older and my aunt gifted us her old PC and I would write short stories for myself or pretend to be a secret agent typing out letters on the uber secret agency computer haha… It might be cruel, but the only things my mother has taught me, are basically how NOT to do things. She is a prime example of all the things I shouldn’t ever do, but of course it took me 23 years to figure that out and I’m still unlearning all the bad lessons!
I love the idea of being a secret agent typing letter in code. 😀
Yes and yes. I think my mother said the same thing to me. Boy I’m glad I learned to type as I touch type everything 🙂
Yes, we are the lucky ones. Duckfish does the two finger thing. He says he’s envious of me. 😉
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