I think the long-term objective of my high school typing teacher was, “Each student will be able to type a jillion words per minute by the end of the semester.” Sitting in a basement classroom filled with ancient typewriters, I viewed that teacher as a demanding taskmaster who had no life beyond the dimly lit room where she persistently attempted to squeeze from us at least one more word per minute.
The most important sentence to master in typing was, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence is significant for typing teachers because it includes all of the letters of the alphabet. So, each day while our brains notified our fingers concerning the locations of the letters on the keyboard, we raced against the clock to correctly complete repetitions of this sentence. When the teacher rang a bell to signal that we were to stop typing, all fingers had to instantly be in the air and visible. Trying to type one additional letter after the bell meant no credit, regardless of how many points had been earned minus that small infraction.
Some of my fellow classmates aspired to get by with the grade of “C.” This was the lowest passing grade. Our high school did not recognize “D” as a grade. I, on the other hand, was the uptight student striving each day to beat my own record.
Many years have passed since taking high school typing, and I now have great appreciation for that class. In public places I sometimes see people using two index fingers to enter things on their computers. It is then that I’m reminded of the brown fox, the lazy dog, and the very strict teacher. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to type my novel, which contained 77, 322 words, with two fingers.
Current educators often argue that drill inhibits creativity. I used many drills to learn useful skills (think cursive writing, multiplication tables, sight words) and I’m actually quite creative. At least that is my assessment.
Link to novel, Child of Desire
~ Clipart from Modiru &Clipground. com