I can type. I have Mother to be thankful for…
It was the late summer of 1985. We just moved from Flushing, NY, to Harrington Park, NJ. First time alone, without my cousins and Chinese-speaking friends nearby, in a completely homogeneously white neighborhood… I turned on the TV, tried to make sense of American television, but it was hard. I went back to my room, turned on the radio, and started to set up for a drawing…
Mother came in and gave me a large book. I cannot recall whether it was in English or Chinese, but it was certainly a book on learning to use a standard typewriter. She said, “When you go to school, you are going to need to know how to type. So here’s a book for you to learn from.” The next day, Mother and I went to the store and picked out a typewriter, and immediately I began to play with the keys when we went home.
I started learning by memorizing each alphabet’s location. My exercise was to type all 26 alphabets in their order in as little as a few seconds. By doing so, each alphabet’s location is permanently engrained in my brain and set the foundation for my capability to type-write words and sentences without looking at the keyboard. Often I practiced with the radio on “Power 95”. The songs on the radio piqued my interest to know what they mean. Then I would somehow find the lyrics of songs I like and practice typing out the lyrics… There were Duran Duran, Hearts, Joan Jets, Tears for Fears, etc.
Through the learning process, my little hands had difficulty reaching for the numbers on the top row. So I always “cheated” with typing numbers using the extended keyboard… Later I got good with the extended numeral keyboard by doing a few part-time jobs as a cashier.
Today I can type even better than my co-workers. 🙂 Thanks, mom!