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Archive for February 13th, 2007

QOTD: All your life you are told the things you cannot do…

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

“All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough. They will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.
— Nike Ad

Typing fast is still a good skill to have

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

When I was in high school, I got out of taking the required typing class. I’m not sure it’s even a requirement now. Maybe they assume everyone already knows how to type? (Maybe — probably — it only seems that way from my vantage point?)

While most of my peers were relegated to the world of learning home keys and completing workbooks of mind-numbing typing exercises, I managed to convince my counselor (who probably didn’t care either way) that I did indeed know how to type. Fast. Faster than my peers who pecked out their name. Faster than him. Faster than the teacher.

In fact, I learned to type at the same time I learned to spell. On my mother’s brother word processor. The one with the bright orange text on the brown screen. I wrote stories. I made pictures out of spreadsheets. I loved the instant gratification of the typewriter function. I especially loved hearing the tick-tick-tick… ticktickticktcktcktickticktcktck… ticktick… tick… tickticktick… of the word processor spelling out line by line, letter by letter, the words I’d crafted.

Yes, my friends. I, who began my adventures in learning Web design at the ripe old age of 10, do indeed remember the world before the Internet. I also remember learning to program on Apple computers so old they had no hard drives and floppy disks that were, get this, actually floppy. Like many of my peers, I fondly remember playing Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? on a screen that displayed maybe eight colors.

Heck. I even remember owning the original Nintendo, yeah the one with Duck Hunt and the power pad for that olympics game (Dance Dance Revolution has nothing on that game, which a decade ago had my siblings and I exercising to video games) — and being the first owner, not the dozenth. I remember my dad bringing home Mario 3 when it was first released.

117 wpm

So, why am I giving a brief history of Meranda’s involvement/evolution of technology? Because today, I came across this typing test. It has you type a portion of the Gettysburg Address and times you. Although I suspect it’s probably pretty inflated, it’s hard to argue with a speed of 117 words per minute. I’d probably have guessed my speed in the 95-100 word per minute range. I type fast, but not that fast. (My sister Brandi and my mom type *that* fast.) But, 117 words is pretty impressive.

On a related and more journalistic point… After a recent interview with an older woman, the woman commented on my notetaking. She was impressed that people still took notes by hand and asked me about my writing habits, etc. The basics, did I use short hand, did I take notes on the computer, and so forth. She seemed to think penmanship was a dying art form. I’d probably stop short of calling my notes any type of redemption for the dying art of penmanship — though in my defense, my handwriting even when scribbling notes, is far neater and more legible than most peoples, especially journalists. But it was funny to think how much is typed now that previously would have been written. When was the last time you or your child actually wrote a paper or a story or anything longer than a sentence out by hand? Think about that.