Typing Class

4 Mar


Judy Wills



When I was growing up, my parents had an old manual Underwood typewriter that I used to “play around” with.

Credit Google search

Like the computer keyboards, all the “keys” had a number or letter on them. And while it was fun to play on, I didn’t really know what I was doing.

I knew that my high school offered typing classes, but I wanted to get a jump-start on that capability. So, one summer, I enrolled in a summer school typing class. Now you must remember that, back in that day, summer school was usually for remedial study. That didn’t bother me, however, because I knew I was just doing the class to further myself.

So I started the class. We had the standard, manual typewriters on each desk. However, there were NO numbers or letters on the keys – they were blank! But in front of the classroom – attached to a blackboard – was a chart with the typewriter keyboard on it – with the letters and numbers on each key.


Credit Google search – Pulaski County, Virginia l National Archives


As we began typing, we had to look at the chart – not our hands – to type what the teacher wanted us to type. In that way, we learned to type without looking at the keys or our hands. That has given me a lot of fast typing in all the jobs I held, as well as the letters I have written to friends.

As I was typing along one day, the teacher approached me and asked if he could ask me a question. When I agreed, he asked if I played the piano. Surprised by that question in a typing class, I said “yes.” In triumph he said, “I KNEW it! I can always tell the students who play the piano – they have a different dexterity to their fingering than those who don’t.”

That’s a fun memory that has stayed with me.

Following that class, I went on to take more typing classes in high school. When I graduated from high school, my parents purchased a portable, manual Olympia typewriter for me. I still have it. Here I am, typing my senior paper on my little portable typewriter at my Aunt Jessie’s house.



As I mentioned in another post (please see my post of December 18, 2016 – Out in the Cold), when I went back to work after 20+ years of being a stay-at-home mom, I tested out at 70+ correct words per minute on the computer!. That was a big surprise to me as well as those testing me. During those 20+ years between working in an office setting, and that testing for a new work situation, I had kept up my typing skills. Every letter I wrote home to my family was typed. My handwriting isn’t the best, and typing takes so much less time than hand-writing. So I typed all my letters. That helped keep up my typing skills.

I suppose many of you have seen pictures recently on facebook and other places that show old typing classes. That could have been me in that class! See the above picture!

Recently I had a visit to my primary care physician and for some reason we began talking about typing. She mentioned that people today can tell older computer typers as the keys “click.” That’s because when you learn to type on a manual typewriter, you must push the keys really hard to get it to actually meet the paper. Our wrists are in an up position (that’s a pianist position, as well), and we “attack” the keys.

It’s hard to let go of those habits, you know.

But, as I said – it’s a fun memory!




2 Responses to “Typing Class”

  1. Onisha Ellis March 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    If only I had taken more typing classes! My friend, Lynn did. She was the smart one.


  2. divoran09 March 4, 2018 at 9:08 am #

    I loved this post. I identify, it’s specific, it gives me mental pictures as well as word ones, and it’s about a small thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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