Being the youngest of eight, I learned to measure the years by my older siblings’ activities.
I remember the benchmark year in high school when one of my siblings took typing class. This was usually before the big research paper and there was always a show of being able to type on our father’s Selectric typewriter.
Somewhere around sibling number six, mama decided that she would take a typing class.
“With my arthritis, I type almost all my letters, why shouldn’t I learn to type correctly?”
She enrolled in an evening typing class at our high school and returned home flush with excitement. Every night she played a cassette of “Flight of the Bumblebee” as she practiced her typing in her study. Her trash can was full of papers with, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
Mama noticed that our last name was particularly difficult to type as it had letters from each area of the keyboard, “Shift, upper-case B, r, z….now that’s a tough combination.”
On the last night of class the typing teacher commended them all for sticking with the program, “It’s difficult to UN-learn bad typing habits. I am truly proud of each and every one of you, especially those with handicaps.”
Intrigued, my mother looked around the classroom. She shifted in her seat and turned from side to side, her eyes darted from each Selectric Typewriter and up to each classmate.
No one appeared to have any sort of disability.
Then she looked down and saw her curved hands resting on the keyboard.