Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I am Mom

In high school I earned what is possibly the most insane conglomeration of credits you'll ever encounter. In addition to the college preparation classes my guidance counselor insisted I take, I also had the Secretarial Science ones Mom wanted because as I can still hear her say, "If you can type and take shorthand, you'll never have to scrub somebody else's floors for a living."

Truer words were never spoken but as an offshoot, by my sophomore year I was not only typing all the reports I had to do for the college prep classes, but by my junior year pretty much writing the instructors' lectures verbatim.

When Da Kid was young and started thinking about what he wanted to do when he grew up Hubby and I never pushed him in any particular direction. The decisions were his to make with one exception Hubby and I both agreed on. Da Kid would graduate from high school (or die trying). I added one more: Whatever classes he took, one of them would be typing.

Years later Da Kid's in high school and brings home the yearly booklet with the listing of classes for next year. Most of his schedule was already filled with those that were required, but he had to decide on an elective or two. One of the electives offered was typing.

And that's when the battle began. He wanted to take something fun, but I insisted he take typing, instead. Hubby finally stepped in and stopped our . . . uh, "intense discussion."

"Your mother told you you're taking typing next year. You're taking typing."

Da Kid did, and flunked it on purpose.

When he brought home that year's booklet with the listing of classes in it for the next year — his Senior year — since typing was no longer being offered after another round of "intense discussion," I make him take Keyboarding as his elective. And since Da Kid needed the credit in order to graduate, this time he had no choice but to pass it.

Not that I think he would have failed it out of spite this time, anyway, because with all the reports he had to turn in he'd discovered how much easier and faster it is to type rather than write them.

Since then and over the years, hearing Da Kid click away when he's had a report due has given me quite a bit of satisfaction, not that I've said anything to him about it. He has mentioned from time to time that his employers (first the animal hospitals and now the fire department) were pleased and more than a bit surprised that he has this additional skill. Which was thanks enough.

Da Kid's back in school again. This time it's Emergency Medical Services. He's been working for weeks on a presentation and report due today on IV therapy, and called me last night asking if he could use "The Beast" — this old pc I'm sitting at right now — to type up the report he'd scribbled out by hand.

Da Kid was walking out the door an hour after he arrived. He stopped for a moment before he left, gave me a hug and said, "Mom, I don't think I ever told you how glad I am you made me take typing."



Anonymous refugee said...

My mom, the evil abusive bitch, made me waste a summer vacation taking a typing class. Not only was this in the days before universal air conditioning, but she made me wear my Sunday slacks, which were made out of wool. The typewriters were manuals. It was hot, boring, and itchy, and worst of all, it was a girls class (so geeky was I, though, I didn't recognize the potential there).

My entire career, with a few exceptions, has been spent at keyboards.

And, yes, I have hugged and thanked her, more than once for forcing me to take typing.

I just wish she'd've let me wear jeans like everyone else did.

11:02 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

At the risk of revealing myself as not only an "evil abusive bitch" but an ancient one as well, I learned to type on manuals 'cause back then there wern't no electrics, even in the high school's offices. And Miss "S", my first typing teacher, stalked up and down the rows in her orthopedic shoes (no, I'm not joking) carrying a ruler so she could rap our knuckles if we didn't have our hands in a certain position with fingers perfectly arched, with our backs straight and both feet flat on the floor.

And if she caught you even glancing at your fingers, you PRAYED a quick death.

But compared to Mom -- who'd been a private secretary before she married my father -- Miss "S" was Mother Theresa.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I was college prep. My mom insisted I take typing as an elective. "If you know how to type, you'll never have to pay someone else to type your papers in college."

I didn't argue. Pushed myself to get an 'A' so I wouldn't ruin my GPA.

She was right. (Yes, I've thanked her, more than once, for this bit of wisdom.)

And now I spend all day at a keyboard.

10:33 AM  
Blogger GUYK said...

I never learned to type..I am a self taught two fingered per hand hunt and pecker..and do pretty well doing this but sure wish I had learned to type.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Norma said...

Typing is absolutely the most valuable course I ever took. Keyboarding is a little slower, but not much. How could I have 10 blogs if I were a 2 finger typist? I also was college prep, and the principal actually tried to talk me out of the "secretarial classes."

8:18 PM  

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