Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Lost Skill

Almost on a daily basis I find myself feeling very thankful for a skill I acquired as a teen-ager. As I sit in the airplanes, I see people pecking away at their computers. In the clinics I see my fellow employees typing out emails using two or four fingers. I look at resumes where the applicant proudly announces that she can type 30 words a minute. I see executives limping along on their keyboards. If there is one major failure of our public school system, it is the fact that they dropped the ball with one of the most basic and useful skills - keyboarding. How dare they use computers in first grade, but never teach the children how to "type"? How dare they allow teens to graduate with never requiring them to learn a basic skill that leads to higher productivity? It does not make sense to me! I can still hear Mrs. McConnell speaking to the tune of the clicking of several typewriters (this was before computers) .... f f f space, f f f space, j j j space, j j j space. And on and on through the entire alphabet, numbers, and all the symbols. Except for those who went through Mrs. McConnell's class, I have never seen anyone who can type things like *, $, @, #, and _ without looking at the keyboard. I have never seen anyone else who can type 70, 80, even 90 words a minute. I would go crazy, making my mind slow down to 50 words a minute; having to look for each letter, rather than looking at my document. Thanks to the late Mrs. McConnell, for one of the most useful classes I have ever taken. It has served me well for a lifetime.

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