My senior high school had an emphasis on business, and we had intensive accounting and typing practice. I vividly remember typing classes back in high school. I also remember the classroom; it was a large room filled with rows of typewriters on long desks with chairs in front of each. All typewriters had black tape on each key to cover the letters.
We had to memorize the typewriter’s keyboard and use all of our fingers to type, and we were tested all the time. The teacher would dictate a letter; we had to type it and ensure there were no mistakes. Back in school typing wasn’t my favourite class, in fact, it was pretty stressful. However, I am now grateful to have learned to type that way. I am a super fast typer nowadays, and I never have to look down at the keyboard.
The school ended up with a computer lab, typewriters became obsolete and I haven’t used one again. Well, not until this week when I found a typewriter in mint condition for $40 on Craigslist and ended up purchasing it for our son.
Our seven-year-old saw a typewriter for the first time at a little craft store in Victoria, BC last summer, and since then he has not forgotten about it. He then watched a YouTube clip showing some young kids trying typewriters, and he kept asking about my own experiences with typewriters, etc.
My son loves writing stories, he enjoys putting together little comics and mini books, and he loves typing. He borrows my laptop sometimes and types/prints them. Letting him use my laptop isn’t my favourite, I don’t like that the computer is connected to the Internet and he can access any website, so I am always supervising when he is using it. Besides, laptops are delicate, and I worry about him dropping it or accidentally cracking the screen, etc.
Buying him his own laptop, without connecting it to the internet isn’t an option for us right now. I believe he is too young for that and any laptop would be too delicate.
Enter, the typewriter.
Yes, he loves it!
I like that he now keeps the typewriter in his room, all he needed to get started was a new ribbon with fresh ink, some blank paper and that was it. Typewriters are pretty durable beasts and inexpensive, so I don’t have to worry about him breaking an expensive computer. And, best of all, no screen and no internet to worry about.
There is something truly beautiful and personal about typewriters as well, putting your thoughts into paper, instant, without a screen or delete keys to erase anything. Unique too, as no two papers will look the same after typing them.
Last night he started writing a chapter book, mind you, each chapter is just a few paragraphs, but it is all a good start. I love that having the typewriter in his room is an invitation to create and I enjoy hearing the sound the keys make when he types coming from his room. It is nice knowing that he is practising his spelling and learning to type at the same time.
Have you ever used a typewriter? Do you still own one?