by Annette Dashofy
We’ve all had teachers in our lives who made a huge impact on us. I can name several of my favorites without even straining my brain. I’ve even encountered a few of them in more recent years and thanked them. You’d think I’d given them a barrel of gold.
But it’s occurred to me that there were teachers in my life who I did not like at the time. I resented their prodding and their insistence that I practice and study subjects that didn’t interest or excite me.
Oh, sure, I adored my English teachers and my literature teachers and my history teachers.
Math? Algebra? Not so much. I still say I’m a writer because I like words a lot more than I like numbers.
But the one teacher I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is Miss Tiano. She was ancient when I had her in high school, so odds are she’s no longer with us. Or maybe she just SEEMED ancient to my teen-aged mind. I just remember that she had a sour expression, white hair, and wore moo-moos.
And despite my best efforts against it, she taught me to type.
It was on an IBM Selectric monster machine. No delete key. I was neither fast nor accurate.
Back then, I wrote stories. Novels, really. In long hand. In notebooks. Honestly, I think the reason I never attempted to publish anything at the time was because that meant I’d have to type it. I hated typing.
Fast forward thirty some years and here I sit, fingers on the keyboard for hours and hours and hours. I’m much faster now. Accuracy can only be attributed to my backspace and delete keys.
The reason I’ve been pondering all this lately is because my computer illiterate hubby (who wants nothing to do with cyberspace and thus remains nameless in my posts) has decided he probably ought to learn to use email. People send him messages that he can’t retrieve without my help. I’ve tried to teach him the basics. How to turn the PC on. How to log in to his email account. Where to click to open a message or to reply to one…
Then we get stuck. Hubby can’t type. He never met Miss Tiano. He hunts and hunts and pecks and hunts. I watch him try to compose a message and my fingers itch. Usually he gives up and tells me what he wants to say. I’m his email ghost writer.
There is simply no way I could teach him the keyboard. asdfjkl; It makes no sense to him. I don’t even have to think about it. I think of a word, my fingers type it.
I am extremely grateful to that gray-haired, sour-faced woman who pounded typing into my brain all those years ago.
Thank you, Miss Tiano, wherever you are.