Touch Typing For All, No Peeking Needed

by 
Pamela Rogow, for the Shuttle
It’s in the family: Jordan Guy-Mozenter is Dorothy Guy’s grandson. Back in the day, Weavers Way founder Guy was a Selectric mechanic.

For two years in a row, during junior-high summer school (c. 1964), I took Typing, I and then II. We learned on typewriters, wrote side notes about Ringo Starr, and did our best to learn this skill. 

I’ve put “Touch Typing” to use ever since. As I write this, I am spared needing to peek at the keyboard; my fingers know their job as instinctively as athletes know where to aim a ball. 

Over the years, touch typing allowed me to interview countless people while maintaining eye contact. It gave me speed and accuracy in taking notes or composing stories, letters, contracts and more. It focused my mind.

To write this, unfortunately, I am looking at a video screen.

When I relied only on a typewriter, I was a better writer; the combination of touch and “typewriter-ing” fosters “doing your best.” Mistakes count more on a typewriter. You want to write the fewest number of drafts. No “delete”. No cut-and-paste. No postponing.

I learned to pay deeper attention than I do now when I rely on a computer. And that’s the mental habit I want to cultivate when I teach “Touch Typing & Typewriters” for kids and for adults. It’s fun to learn on a typewriter, and the skill translates to keyboards.

Classes start in April for kids and May for adults at the WPM (“Words Per Minute”) Typewriter Shop, at the corner of Greene Street and Carpenter Lane, across the street from Weavers Way in Mt Airy.

The muscle memory cultivated in the class fosters speed, accuracy and the ability to do interviews while maintaining eye contact, and to take notes without your head playing ping pong. Typewriting also fosters the mental habit of doing one’s best. This is not insignificant. And the touch typing skills you practice on a typewriter transfer to computer keyboarding.

All the more fun to learn on real typewriters, the skill is transferable to computer keyboards. Fee: $40-44 for four lessons. For details, see www.wpmTypewriterShop.com or call 267 974 0792.