If someone were to ask me what was one of the best skills I learnt in high school I’d have to say it was how to touch type.
In year 10 or 11 we had one term of an elective – about two hours per week. I chose to learn how to type. Computers were probably around then but it wasn’t for another year or so that we actually got one at the school for students to use. So I learnt on an electronic typewriter.
Little did I know then that it would stand me in good stead in my profession and in my blogging. When I was at high school I had no intention of working in an office and I probably didn’t want to be a secretary. I’m no longer a secretary (not that I was ever really a secretary for very long), but I still work in an office. Mind you, I had no alternate plans for not working in an office.
So being glued to the computer like I am touch typing is invaluable. People are sometimes amazed at the speed in which my fingers whizz over the keyboard with fantastic accuracy. At my last typing test probably 15 years ago I could type at least 80wpm and my accuracy was about 98%.
Anyway, for those in the know a touch typists ‘home keys’ are the F and the J and the other fingers are placed in a line as the diagram below shows (from Wikipedia).
If you move your right hand fingers over one letter to the left so the first finger is now on the H, not on the J, and you type as if you were typing ‘time’ you don’t get the word time but you get another word that makes complete sense.
For you touch typists, give it a go and see what you get. For you non-touch typists it might be a bit harder but you should be able to work it out.
Let’s see who the first clever bunny is.
Miss Eagle says
Even though I am a feminist, I must say that one of the biggest cons ever pulled on women by feminists-at-large was the misguided advice that girls mustn’t learn to type because they will only be expected to be secretaries. I learned to type – amid much tears and discipline) -50 years ago and, like you, people are amazed at the speed, even at employment agencies. It stands us in good stead, as you so rightly point out, in this keyboard world. As one who has had to do battle with a jealous bloke some years ago for access to a computer, excellent keyboard skills give one a certain one upmanship of the right kind. Another brainless thing I came across was that when my own daughter was at high school, to decide whether you were equipped to do shorthand you were given a maths test. Someone, in their witlessness, had decided that one needed maths ability to do shorthand. Well, this chick would never have made that cut but has some good skills (other shorthand people can read my shorthand) and pretty good shorthand speeds in full flight. Can’t quite manage conversational speed but not far from it. All goes to show how some people can make life difficult when it can be relatively simple.
When I was in high school, the girls were expected to take typing, since if we worked we’d surely need it in our job. That is, if we didn’t become nurses or teachers. Typing class rarely had any boys participating, just not a masculine activity.
Know what you mean about being glad to have had the skill, as I, too, had great speed and low error level. Has certainly been beneficial with the computer keyboard.
Thanks for stopping by at “Along The Way.” I used my typing all those years both in work and personally. Now, it’s a must for everybody.