I promised myself that 2013 would be a year of learning, ‘exercising the brain’, as I would like to put it.
In 2003 I enrolled in a basic computer course and part of the curriculum was touchtyping (typing using proper hand placement without looking at the keyboard). My teacher always left me on my own to finish the exercises so I cheated and looked down all the time because I didn’t want to “start from scratch” and the temptation to finish fast was much more than the desire to improve. Over the years I never learned how to properly type, I only used my two fore fingers and the occasional thumb for the space bar. Despite that, I gained speed and became a very fast typist albeit I had to look back and forth between the keyboard and the screen.
But things that have wrong foundations will never become right. And so I sought the help of TypingWeb.com which I have known for years but have ignored as not that important and boring.
It was hard at first. I was tempted to look down and I was always frustrated when I hit the wrong keys. Plus, typing asdfg hjkl;, aaaa, ssss, dddd, ffff and so on repeatedly gets on my nerve. I wanted to start with words so I skipped some lessons and went immediately to the intermediate level. This frustrated me even more because my WPM (words per minute) rate was 7. And then it hit me that there are no shortcuts. I need to start with the basic first and slowly climb my way up.
For more than 20 days now, I have tried to log in diligently on typingweb and do the exercises in their proper order. Guess what? I can now type without looking at the keyboard! And it has become a habit.
I find it cool that the website has helpful tools to help me track my progress.
I have finished all courses under the beginner and intermediate levels. I still couldn’t believe it because I remember thinking “Oh, hell, this looks hard” when I tried the intermediate wrap up. The words “A thousand miles begin with a single step” could not be truer. Typing “pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” wouldn’t be possible without “ultra” and “micro”.
Unfortunately in the advance course, I still am not finished with one lesson, the numeric keypad. My laptop Hugh gave up on me again so I am currently using Dai’s spare one and it doesn’t have the 10 extra keys. I am also planning to finish all the specialty course which are short stories.
I still have a hard time touchtyping when I am out of the website, I still use backspace a lot and I take a peek on the keyboard some times. Am I tempted to return to my old ways of typing? Well, once you experience something better, there is no turning back. I just have to practice practice and practice some more.