i have never been a hunt-and-peck kind of typist. Until now!
From my first tap on the keys of that big, green, metal, manual Underwood in Sister Hilda’s Typing Class, it has been all-hands-on-deck. I learned well there–I had no choice. Any two-finger attempts at sentence making in that classroom were firmly discouraged by the good nun. She would walk up and down the aisle between us aspiring clerk typists–keeping time with our tic-tic-ticing fingers by tapping her long, blonde, wooden pointer on the floor. I always knew when she was close to me. Even before she spoke the words, I could hear her nasal-accented criticism in my head: “Curl those fingers, Annie Eyerman! Don’t you want to be a good typist?” I wanted to answer with a surly NO but the reprecussions at school … and home … were too scary. None of the Eyerman kids ever chanced sassing a nun. Never…well at least not out loud
But the mortal sin in Typing 101 was letting those little pinkies of yours stray away from home. Sr. Hilda would shout in her best I-AM-IN-CHARGE voice: GIRLS! Hands ON keyboard! Ready! Left hand–asdf. Right hand–jkl;. For backup, she had papered the walls with posters of Ben Gazzarra (!) who was encouraging us girls to practicepracticepractice. (He must have been between acting roles and really hard up to pose for typing exercises.) The drills worked. By the end of two years I could finally type The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. All without looking at my fingers and without mistakes. I was truly a typist.
… a two handed one!
We became a great trio–my two hands and mind. We could whiz through term papers, letters home, manuscripts and complaints to airlines. Left knew it was responsible for all those letters around asdf and the right took care of the jkl; neighbours. They were good–knew where the “p” lived and the pinkie “q” resided. (I knew this guy one time, David Levy, who would practice his touch-typing as he walked. He’d type out his thoughts with his feet. He was late a lot–especially when he thought too many “were’s” and “are’s”.)
But now the red-fiberglass-casted Right can’t even reach the keyboard. Let alone hold up it’s part of this creating business. It’s tough on all of us. Left is getting weary of stretching into foreign territory to find where Right kept the lmnop. And I’m having to think differently. Was Miriam, my excellent acupuncturist, right? Did I break my arm because my left brain was tired after all of those months and months it took to finish Annie’s Odyssey? Is it time to right-brain my creating? And do I even have a choice?