Friday, November 20, 2009

DeNae's Month o' Gratitude, Day Twenty

Ay, caramba, Bart! I'm getting behind on my word count! I've decided to download dictionary-dot-com into my novel on the grounds that I'm fairly certain all the words I intend to use will be listed there. Then, I'll simply 'delete' everything that I don't really need during the revision stage in the coming months. Huh? Huh? I'm telling you, sometimes I'm so freaking brilliant it...um...hang on, I need to look up a good word to finish that sentence...

20: I'm thankful for my computer. If you are over 40, chances are you had to take "typing" in High School. I'm not particularly proud to admit this, but I am one of the few people in the world who managed to cheat in type class.

My friend Lisa, daughter of a Baptist minister and to the best of my knowledge a fairly honest and upstanding citizen until she met me, was such a fast typist that when she finished the assignment for her own class (Type 300: Tabbing Your Way to Success) she had enough time left over to do the assignment for my class (Type 90: Finding Your Butt With Both Hands) and pass it to me in the hall.

So to the teacher, I seemed to be one of those rare students who could type perfectly well on all of the daily assignments, but when given a pop quiz - which was usually just a repeat of one of the week's earlier pages - I approached the task with all the keyboarding skill of a poached egg.

I guess I just don't test well.

So as you might imagine, no one is more surprised than I that I can even make any of these keys do what I want them to. But when we finally got a computer in 1996, making us the next-to-last humans on earth to do so, the final holdouts being my in-laws who still use an abacus to balance their checkbook, my world was forever changed. Up was down, Michael was Diana, and pork was the other white meat.

And now, I am head over heels, stars in my eyes, how do you solve a problem like Maria in love with this machine.

I love the internet. I love my flash drive. I love my color printer and my two gazillion word documents and my digital pictures and my music composition files and running my entire life via e-mail.

And I love that even after I drove her to a life of crime and trafficking in black market typing assignments, my dear accomplice Lisa still used her computer to 'friend' me on Facebook.

I want you to know, Lis, it took nearly 30 years, but I'm finally up to twenty words a minute.


16 comments:

Hel said...

What a good friend to have. I remember cheating on an exam only once. It was only to prove how dumb our teacher was I swear it!!

I too am grateful for the internet... and it's mountains of information for me to trudge through so I can become the best mother Bel could possibly want - at least I KNOW how to be the best mother. I am yet to put it into practice.

MommyJ said...

I'm not over forty, which means I remember taking a keyboarding class in the eighth grade. The computers were big and the screens green and black and rather DOS like, but they got the job done. They were one step up from the little apple computers in the library where we used to play Oregon Trail. Though, that game was way more fun than typing fast.

Mallory said...

I'm glad you call it a "flash" drive. I call it that...or "jump" drive. The other day my mom called it a "thumb" drive, and I told her that was silly. Later that day, my husband told me that he calls it a thumb drive at work (he's a computer guy). Then I felt really stupid.

Now we know you really mean it if you ever say you don't have time to blog...especially considering the preferred length of your posts!

The Garden of Egan said...

That is funny! I remember the first time I ordered something from the internet in 1998. It was a gasket for my pressure cooker. I had driven all over creation trying to find one, my hubby said, "order off the internet" I had this questioning dumb look on my face, so he showed me how.
He's regretted that moment ever since.

wonder woman said...

Our computer died last Saturday and I didn't get it back till Wednesday morning. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.

So I went shopping.

My parents didn't get a computer till 1999, and didn't have full internet access till last year. And they've had teenagers at home that whole time.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

20 words a minute, huh? Wow, you'll be done with that novel of yours in NO time. Maybe you should hand write it. With a fountain pen.

Annette Lyon said...

I took typing in high school, complete with the carbon paper and white-out strips and everything.

I'm not *quite* 40, but I'm old enough. You can like me more now, right?

Happy Mom said...

I'm going to use that download the dictionary thing when I finally decide to buckle in a actually write a novel! You are nothing short of brilliant my dear!

And I'm INCREDIBLY sorry that Hel and MommyJ was read your post before 5 am. Oh those little ones!

Becca said...

I love my computer(s), too. I overheard my youngest say yesterday "We need to get Mom a laptop, because she's always using the computer when I want to play." Need. Another computer around here. Exactly.

(Also: NaNo may have beat me to a pulp and kicked my ragged body across the litter-strewn parking lot, but I can still feel good about a thousand-word writing day. Just so's I'm writing. Though my failure may not comfort you, if you're not the type to say "At least I'm doing better than THAT loser.")

Happy Mom said...

And I HATE it when I reread my comment after I post it and find typos!

People might begin to think that I can't string together two coherant thoughts and I've been working so hard to pull the wool over their eyes.

Brooke said...

My 7th grade typing class was on those clunky old non-electric machines, and you couldn't type faster than 20 words per minute or all of the keys would get tangled up.

I took the class with a bunch of my best friends - 5 giggly, chattery 12-year old girls, bored out of their minds with "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs." Our teacher would actually duct tape our mouths closed during class so that we couldn't talk to each other. Can you imagine that happening in the schools today?? I could have sued that school district for millions and be living large in the Bahamas right now.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh you silly goose! You are way over 20 words a minute. COME ON! Or maybe you're not. Maybe that's why you are falling so far behind on your word count and you have to download the dictionary. Brilliant, btw,

How's the whole novel thing coming? Are you gratedul for your novel?

And aren't you sick-to-death of being grateful of everything?

Verifier say swall. It's a swall world afterall.

wendy said...

glad you cleared that up for me...I was wondering How does someone cheat in Type class.
and YES, I took type class, and shorthand.......and all those skills that went the way of the dinosaur.
Like Math and Science --I always told my parents I had no need for that knowledge ---it'll be replaced with something else, soon, I know it.
Frigging math and science

I still DON'T text
In fact, I don't even have a cell phone anymore

and are you in the crime data base for "type cheaters"

L.T. Elliot said...

I love my lappy too which is why I'm a bit piqued at having to spray Kiwi-Strawberry juice all over it because of the hilarity going on around this place. I assure you, Lappy is not pleased. (Although I'm still grinning about the "how do you solve a problem like Maria")

AS Amber said...

I have this same type of relationship with my cell phone. Especially the Maria part.

And I cheated in type class, too!!! But mine was on a computer so I was able to start typing before she said "go" and she wouldn't hear me.

I felt sooooo bad when she gave out awards at the end of the year and I won "Fastest Typer in the Class". I got a certificate and a Snickers bar and everything.

And I'd be willing to bet we had the same teacher.

tammy said...

I'm not admitting whether I took type class or not, but I remember when we got our first computer as a married couple, and how my husband had to type one finger at a time because he hadn't ever taken a typing class. I may have mocked him. I am also amazed at how fast my 13 & 8 year olds can type! Different generation for sure.

(Oh, and my type teacher would wear the same suite all week. WTH was up with that?)