Anyone my age, and certainly any former editor/writer my age, will recall some years spent pounding the keys of a manual typewriter. Mine was a Royal portable, and it was definitely a hate/hate relationship. You see, I didn’t take typing in high school because it didn’t count toward college admission requirements. And besides, I thought naively, when I started working after college, I’d have a secretary, not be one. Imagine my frustration when, despite my degree, the first thing every employer wanted to know was how well I could type. Worse, by then they were expecting proficiency on electric typewriters and I’d never used one.
I had learned to type, sort of, during one of my high school summers. A neighbor lady decided to teach typing to some of us kids on the block, and I managed to learn the bottom three rows before school started. That was the extent of my typing skill when I hit college — 30 words per minute, including having to hunt-and-peck the top row. It was so inadequate and frustrating for college work that I hired typists to type anything longer than a couple of pages. It was also a major obstacle to any creative writing I attempted.
Today I still have to look at the top row, but at least with a computer, I no longer have to stress out over making corrections and possibly ruining (and having to retype) the entire page. (I wish the kids in the video had been given the appropriate erasers instead of white-out.)
I do regret not hanging on to my little Royal portable as a keepsake from the old days. No doubt it would intrigue my grandkids (ages 9 and 12) just as much the kids in this video.