Re-learning how to type

I have been around computers since second grade where it was my duty to turn on all the Apple II class computers. We eventually had an IBM PCjr at our home, where I spent most of my free time playing one game or another. We had a typing game, where I honed my skills shooting down “B”s and “Z”s with expert precision. I have always thought I knew my way around a keyboard. I have after all been typing for 30 years. Though, I will admit to having bad spelling, partly blaming the advent of autocorrect and partly blaming my study of Japanese, Sanskrit and Tibetan. (Tibetan has ruined my spelling. How many ways can you write the sound “Dra” in Wylie transliteration? Anyone?)

The new gSchool class that starts in March 2014 now has some homework, part of which is typing practice. We were sent a link to and told to practice 30 minutes a day. My initial reaction was “There is no need for this for me… I can rock this typing thing” Wow… I feel deflated. I got 25 wpm. During grad school, I was writing all the time. I am sure my wpm speed was at least 50wpm, probably closer to 60. But how often would I need to write a “:” or a “<”? Coding is another language. I jumped into the Ruby language section and started fumbling right away. I had to look down at the keyboard every other second. I mean I “generally” know where the @ key or the _ key is… but my fingers just don’t have the muscle memory to know exactly where they are each time.

I also found I had some weird consistently mis-typed letters. The letter “p” was a hassle. I think I have always used my ring finger to hit the “p” key. And trying to type “correctly, I tried to use my pinky, which proved difficult. Also, I believe my pinky got a huge workout. One is supposed to use the right pinky for the following characters: :, “, ;, -, _, /, {, }, [, ], =, +, and “delete.” Those characters are used all the time in code!

I am excited for school, but I have a lot of work to do!

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