Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frustrations of typing

The second semester, I decided to take typewriting, which Mother did not consider frivolous because I was going to be a writer. Before the class was allowed to touch typewriters, we memorized the keyboard letters by pounding away on their arrangement printed on heavy paper. When we finally got to real typewriters, which had blank keys, the room was so noisy I understood why the class was hidden away in a corner of the basement. Speed and accuracy were the goals, but for me all the nervous clattering of typewriters and pressure to hit the right keys faster was so exhausting I just managed to squeak through the semester with a grade of G for Good. I could not face the second semester, so I still have to peek to type numbers. Today, when I am asked the most difficult part of writing, I answer "typing," which is taken as a joke. It is not. There is nothing funny about typewriting.
Beverly Cleary, A Girl from Yamhill (New York: Dell Yearling, 1989), p. 212

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