40 WORDS PER MINUTE

You’re reading this because I took a typing class my last semester of high school.  I think there was one other boy in our class.  The room was filled with aspiring secretaries.

         I took that typing class to get out of high school.  

         Let me explain.  Back in the olden days, before computers, tablets, keyboards and MS WORD, big offices in the big cities  had a lot of clerk-typists.

         Good, fast typists could always find a job.

High school girls signed up for typing classes.  Typing was their ticket to the big city. 

         I needed a half credit to get out of high school.  Well, that’s not quite the truth, I needed a full schedule plus a half credit to graduate high school in May.  Otherwise, I would be in high school for another full year.

There was always some talk about “not applying yourself,  not studying, not preparing for tests.”

         So, I signed up for the typing class.  Half Credit. Easy.  A class full of girls.  That was a bonus.

All you had to do was learn to type 40 words a minute. The teacher said “as soon as you pass the 40 Words Per Minute Test, you don’t  have to do anything else in class.  Just sit there, keep your mouth shut and wait for graduation.

         No notes to take.  Only one test and you took it over and over until you passed it.  My kind of class.

         Day one:

         “This is a QWERTY typewriter.”  Mrs. McDaniel said.  She was our teacher.  It was her first year.  I thought the typewriter in front of me was an Underwood.  The kid next to me was facing a Remington.

“Here’s where you put your fingers.  Remember A-S-D-F and J-K-L-Semi-colon.” she said.

Simple enough.  And we started reaching for the letters above the A-S-D-F line and using our thumbs to space.  We slapped the return with our left hand.

We typed “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back.” a thousand times.  Over and over.

There were rules to learn.  Spacing, Tabs, Indentions, Centering.

I learned more than just hunting and pecking out a few words.  I found a typing skills book in the library.  I practiced the test over and over.  It took me most of the semester to pass that test. I think I finally got to 45 or 50 words per minute.

Twenty years later, I bought my first computer and learned typing all over again. 

Now, nobody cares if you can type 40 words per minute. They don’t even teach typing.  It’s keyboarding.  It’s cut and paste.  It’s delete or copy. You fix a mistake with the backspace key.

People threw their typewriters away.  Now they word process!

Oh, by the way, typing class was the only “A”  I ever made in high school

         To this day, I still put two spaces at the end of a sentence.  I don’t care what the computer people say, my mind says two spaces, so it’s two spaces!

Please feel free to share.  I encourage and welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at amwindham100@gmail.com.  Please follow my blog at www. mikewindham.com.

One thought on “40 WORDS PER MINUTE

  1. 40 was the ticket. I recall the double space after the end of the sentence, too. Though I rarely use it. Like this one. It’s easier to stroke the space bar once and be done with it.

    Like

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