Thursday, August 22, 2013

I owe it all to my Mom and Mavis Beacon

I am working on a "project" where I need to prove my typing speed.  Once I have more solid information on said project, I will expand.  However, for now, I will just tell you I had to go and take a typing test from a recognized agency that will provide me with a certificate of my skillz.

Yes, skillz.  Typing be all gangsta, yo.

I was trying it out.  I will stop now.

It has often been suggested to me I have been in the wrong line of work.  Sure "helping people" is noble and all, but my passions lie in other places. I love to organize, to file, to photocopy! Don't even get me started on creating spreadsheets. SWOON!  I inherited all these dorky traits from my mother.  She went to secretarial school, aced it, became valedictorian, and then took over the world.

Despite my love of all things secretarial, I never took a typing class.  When I was in school we were moving from typing on actual typewriters (I'm THAT old) to using computers.  I learned how to make my Commodore 64 scroll endless "I love Brad"s across the screen but never learned proper finger placement for the keyboard.  I think I took Home EC instead.  You can see that has really served me well.

When my family finally got a computer at home I would have been about 15 or so.  We had three things we could do on that computer: use the word processor, play Hugo III: Jungle of Doom, or use the typing teacher tool by Mavis Beacon. (Aside: did you know Mavis Beacon isn't even a real person? CHILDHOOD RUINED.)

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing was the only other thing on our computer.  Once I had rescued Hugo's girlfriend from the jungle, there was really little else to do but sit in front of Mavis and follow the instructions.  Words would fall out of the sky and you had to type them before they hit the ground.  It was all very exciting.

Might I mention, this was the early 90s.  We had nothing else going on.

Fast forward many years, I have used my Mavis born typing skills to create hundreds and hundreds of reports.  Co-workers have always teased me about my typing speed because most of them have done the hunt and peck variety of one digit typing.  Once, I even had a client yell at me for typing too loud and too fast while she gave me information.  I figured I was just average.

This week, I scheduled my typing test and went in to take it.  I was nervous.  I had never tried to type in front of anyone for any real reason. I sat down and was faced with copying two paragraphs in a constant loop (much like my Commodore) for two separate 5 minute tests.

I sat down at a strange computer, strange keyboard, and strange surroundings.  I could only backspace and couldn't point and click onto a mistake if it happened way before.  I sat stick straight, breathed deeply, and put my fingers on the "f" and the "j".  I harnessed my inner Mom and Mavis mojo and went for it.

I came out with 62 words/minute on the first trial and 60 on the second.  Accuracy rate was 98%.  I left there with wings on my shoes and a feeling of accomplishment.  I can't do much else in life, but I can make the keyboard fly!

The Guy said he wasn't surprised I did so well.  He has seen me "angry type" before and is more shocked my keyboard doesn't burst into flames.

Next time, I will get really mad before hand and see if I can get my speed up to 70!

13 comments:

  1. That is pretty awesome. Your mom would be proud.

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  2. I love typing! I too have high speed scores although my accuracy is suffering as keyboards get smaller! Congratulations on mastering such an important life skill!!

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  3. You rock! Have you tried Faulkner shorthand? I picked up a used textbook and taught myself a (very) few tricks. Handy for note-taking and (to a lesser extent) encrypting.

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    1. Oooh, encrypting! I love to write shorthand, but it's my own version of it. I'm not sure if any of it comes from anywhere legitimate.

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  4. I still find it interesting that they do speed and accuracy tests; is this really something that we worry about in the age of quick fixes and making things perfect before we print something? I do see the point way back in the day when a mistake cost you paper. I even review things from further back when they just left mistakes in. Because wasting paper was a sin.

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    1. I actually long for those days. I feel we will soon reach a point where there is no paper. Not because we don't want to use it, but because there will be none left.

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    2. I think the idea with speed and accuracy tests is to save time, not money. If you're paying someone to type things, higher speed and accuracy are advantageous.

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    3. Oops! That should read time, not paper. Saving time = saving money.

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    4. You're likely right, Ari!

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  5. I loved Mavis Beacon! Like, wanted-to-name-my-cat-after-her kinda love. Whaddya mean she isn't a real person?!?

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    1. The lady who everyone thinks is Mavis Beacon is actually a model from the Caribbean. There is no real Mavis. Isn't that sad??

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