I am not sure exactly when it happened, nor what it requires, as far as software coding, but Thank God for the Edit button.
Long, long, time ago, in a concrete block room in Pell City, Alabama, some nice lady taught me to type. Well, I should say i took typing for a semester. The school was humble, in many ways misguided, but the teachers were as full of love and dedication as they were lacking of formal training, but I am pretty sure the lady who taught me typing was not lacking in the skills of teaching how to use a Brother manual portable. It was in either 5th or 7th grade (the only two years I went to that school). I earned a passing grade, and could type maybe twenty words per minute without mistake. not great, but i was never destined to be office staff.
Over the last 40 yrs, many things have conspired to throw wood onto the fire that was originally just my inability to comprehend with exactitude the rules of grammar. I have always been a bit slow at writing, so i have used condensation and abbreviation as tools to get the information down in a timely matter. In fact, at that same school I got an “F” in science based on this habit, long story, and pretty pointless accept to say I managed to get the teacher to take it up to a “C” on pure logic and the force of my parents being on my side. And, until many years later, when I flunked out of Organic Chemistry, that C stood as a lone low point in my overall grades, which was laughable as science was by far my best subject. Sadly, i had no interest in science, but i am getting very far afield from my point. the point is, to keep up with the prolific some would say manic output of my brain, i needed to be able to type in bursts of 50-60 words per minute. otherwise my brain gets bored with that thought and moves on leaving my point lost forever. not that my points are always worth making.
Fast forward from 1973 or so when i was learning to type, and learning that perfect artwork and correct but condensed note taking from an english teacher who was drafted into teaching me both history and science could be hazardous to your grades, to about 1995 when i became the co-founder and then almost immediately the sole publisher/editor/sales/distribution/reporter/coffeemaker/bottlewasher of a small literary newspaper. a task i was both eminently qualified for and wholly lacking in qualifications for! now i have to type in thousands of words per month, format, edit, my work and the work of poets and short story writers and so on, all as a side job that paid somewhere around zero to negative dollars. speed became an overwhelming need, of course, while doing this, and working about 50 hrs per week and commuting about 12 hours per week, i am still writing poetry, working on a novel and chatting on at first aol, then on the real web. The first thing i realized was that Mrs. Brown’s typing class, (i just remembered her name), did not prepare me for the monstrosity that is the modern keyboard. After working for years on the poor substitute for a typewriter that a keyboard is, in about 2004 i moved to the pathetic excuse for a keyboard that a lap top offers.
(one of his favorites from then)
When my 9yr old was about 2-3, he became interested in the internet and playing games, and looking up videos about trains and then later marine mammals. eventually he broke of a couple of keys and somehow disabled the shift key, so i got out of the habit of using caps, because to do so, i had to hit caps lock, type a letter and hit caps lock again, it was just too annoying. the other thing is that i have learned to type while watching the keyboard instead of the screen, this allows me to fly through, but i have no idea what fat finger mistake i might be making. it is is something formal, i will look at the screen after typing, see the 26 errors and correct them. i think the worst thing is the mysterious way that i accidentally hit certain keys and either erase or cut and paste or just jump back up into previously typed text. I have never, in over 20 yrs of using a computer figured out what i am doing to cause these jumps, cuts and edits. usually i will look up after a minute and realize i have either jumbled or eaten several lines of type. these i usually, but not always fix. For years, first on myspace, then on facebook and then on shelfari, i typed ferociously, adding letters, leaving off letters and hitting the enter button without looking up, forever enshrining (so i thought) my typos into the e universe. then, a while back, Shelfari and Facebook (i dont use Myspace anymore), introduced features that allow one to edit posted work. Hallelujah!
But i still type looking down, i still blaze through, i still cannot consistently find the right key while looking at the screen and i still have no idea what i can do to fix the jumps and cuts. Does anyone else suffer from these tech inflicted wounds? does anyone else type looking down? Help!