Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tales From The Typewriter

The Great Mr Chudobiak treated me like a bad student and I deserved every typing punishment I got. But now I can type as fast as I can think what I want to say because of him so he gets my full respect. Home Row bitches. HOME ROW.

I hated typing class. It was just one thing that didn't come easy to me. And most things for the most part were going along just fine. Grade nine I had NO final exams because I had good enough grades to get exempted from them. All of them but TYPING. And typing was first thing in the morning so I had to get up and go to an empty classroom to first FIX my assignments that had too many mistakes AND do the final typing exam. I was mad but I wasn't going to let this maniac the satisfaction of taking away my early summer. So I showed up early and left late. I finished all my assignments without asking for a second of help from him. I just tossed them on his desk and left for home. I even finally conquered the DURODENT toothbrush company which was the business letter from hell. I was my own personal Viet Nam. I learned to hate that letter but there was nothing cooler that seeing him mark it and toss it in the 'completed' pile.

Of course all my spite and bitterness was poured into my fingers and I started at the beginning and worked through that stupid book. No digital assist in those days. This was old school typing text books with special stands that the shop class made to hold them. They never left the room lest we all could gather under the light of a full moon and type H and J over and over again.

And of course, the more I typed the better I got. I didn't have to look at my fingers after a time and I made so many less mistakes and got finished the pages is twice the time. Damn I wish they had Walkman's in those days. I could have done that all to some great 80s music like Queen or ELO or the BEE GEES - don't judge. But there was none of that. So I worked in silence and finally the exam came and I have to admit, I was insulted. I asked him if this was the same test the rest of the class had to do? (And how for some messed up reason ALL got exempted from the Typing Final.) He told me it as the same one. I typed it. I turned it in and stood waiting for him to mark it in front of me. He did and my score was 98. I just looked at him ready to strangle him for the extra two points. What the hell was my mistake? He showed me a place where I gave the spacebar and extra hit and left too much space between two words. I had no reply. I just turned to go and he asked me to stop and gave me the extra two points because apparently he had made and mistake and given me the grade 10 typing final. I kicked ass above my grade. I should have bargained may way out of even having to take typing 10. I had just mastered it and that was that. But I thought about it and started to look forward to typing as not just a fluff elective but a valuable skill that had prepared me for the digital age. And I owe it all the a maniac who was so bored at the end of the school year that he decided to mess with my head. Well, thanks for that Mr. Chudobiak. That moment made me a better teacher I think because I never let any kid slack off and half-ass it.

It's the great skill I have for communicating in the digital world and if I had to type with just my thumbs or use the 'one finger peck' I would refuse to do it. I can't lower my standards to those who feared HOME ROW. Do you know that when you are REALLY good, you don't even have to look at your fingers. They play the keyboard like a good pianist plays that piano the way they do. HOME ROW. Each one of you may be a rebel but you is an ignorant rebel. It's a skill that separates us from the animals - HOME ROW. Mavis Beacon knew her shit. There was no way to break the systerm. So that first year I taught I had access to a computer and I put msyelf and all the kids on that course. 20 minutes a day of straight typing skills and the last 20 minutes for You Tube videos and whatnot. Trust me they had no imagination so supervising their usage was a breeze. But I took the class with them every time i taught it to improve my skills and got to the point where I made a bet thtat I would give anyone twenty dollars if they could beat me in the times typing test as the end of th course. A few brash young punks and puckettes have taken the challenge. But I still rule in the school. Now I just told that story off the top of my head in about 5 minutes. Any slower and I would freak out. The world already moves too slow for me.


DrGoat said...

There's like 10 words I can type fast because I use them all the time at work. Construction, project, approximate, existing landscape, survey,...see how fast I did that?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Typing was the most useful class I ever took in high school. Because of it, I was able to get decent summer jobs as a university student so I didn't have to waitress. And of course, with the rise of personal computers, I became a typing GODDESS OF THE HOME ROW!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Can I get an AMEN for HOME ROW. It all start with Home Row.