Thursday, July 01, 2021

Ron Typing

Many years ago, in the Fifties, when I was a high school student I had extra class time.  I elected to take Study Hall class which was actually a waste of time, kids who took Study Hall just goofed around shooting spitballs and such. When my Mother found out I was taking Study Hall class for five periods a week she went ballistic. She said "You're not wasting your time taking Study Hall! You're going to learn a skill, you're taking Typing Class!" 

I didn't want to take Typing Class because back in the bad old straight-laced boring Eisenhower presidency days only girls and sissies took Typing. And I certainly wasn't a girl or a sissy even though I couldn't play ball (football or baseball) because I DID throw a ball like a girl. 

I resisted my Mother's demands, after all I had an image to protect (in my silly teenaged 16 year told head) and I JUST couldn't take Typing, what would my classmates think? I had a bad enough time keeping my eyes off of the boys and hiding my burgeoning homosexuality hormones, taking Typing class WITH THE GIRLS would only cement some of my classmate's suspicions that I was QUEER, a fate almost worst than death in the Fifties High School Days. 

However, after much pressure from my Mother I signed up for TWO years of Typing, which was really bold because NO GUY EVER TOOK TWO YEARS OF TYPING. What was next? Shorthand?

Thus I said "goodbye" to my Study Hall classes and signed up for Typing. Funny thing happened though, there were some other guys in the class. Butch guys, albeit just the first year of Typing. No one made fun of me. After awhile I forget about my apprehension about being one of the few guys in Typing class.

My first year of Typing I struggled. A few D's, then C's and I ended with a couple B's. Second year typing was altogether different. I ended up the Best Typist in my class, which was confirmed by a gold key chain award from Underwood Typing company.
I still have that award, my one claim to fame in this world in addition to being name Best Guest Service Representative (front desk clerk) for the Hampton Inn and winning a trip to Disney World in 2000. 

Over the years I have thank my late Mother many times for insisting that I not waste my time in a goofball Study Hall class and take "something you can use in future jobs." And indeed I have. Almost every job I've had since I graduated from high school I've typed. Much to my advantage because almost all of the other guys I've worked with use a one finger peck to type. They never learned the Home Keys typing. 

Thank you Mom for just one more thing you did to raise me that made me a better and self sufficient person.

Me and Mom 1941


Joel Reisteter said...

Mom was right about typing class. I am amazed that you're still strong at your age.
I really can't type, I never took the full-throttle 100% high school class in the 1970s.
I tried using some recorded video courses, but I just get into it in the later 1980.

nitewrit said...


Unlike you, I wanted typing, couldn't;t wait until they offered it as an elective in 10th grade. My ambition was to be a writer and so I felt knowing typing would be a good thing. I signed up and there were a few other boys in the class. What there wasn't were enough typewriters, so four of us had our elective changed to art. It'll only be one semester they told us and then we would be put back in typing for the second half. of the year. This never happened. We were kept in art for the whole tenth grade. II was very good at art, and I later studied it, but I never did get to learn how to type.

Somehow I have survived.


lexie said...


Great story ! thanks for sharing.

Travel said...

I am self taught, and amazed that my fingers just magically know where to go. I was the only one of our four kids who didn't take typing.

pat888 said...

Hey Ron: I didn't have quite the same experience as you as I attended an all boys Catholic High School. I think typing was not mandatory but I took it. Perhaps only one year. And, yes, it was so well worth taking. Before the advent of computers where mostly everybody types messages now. I cannot, like millennials I've seen, type rapidly with two thumbs drumming away on the smart phones. That really impresses me. Probably, like you, I learned on an old manual Underwood or similar model where you pressed the keys quite a distance before a connection was made with the paper. Quite a chore compared to nowadays. Never regretted taking typing - always glad I did.


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