My Typing Teacher was a Genius

When I was in middle school, typing was a required subject. I don’t really know why.

In the early eighties it was not common for people to type at work. There were still specialists for that. Even in the late eighties when I worked in an accounting office and there were secretaries that took dictation and typed up memos. Computer spreadsheets existed, but the accountants there still used pencil and paper and secretaries typed them up if they needed look more formal.

This was the world my typing teacher, Mrs. Cohen, grew up in and probably worked in before becoming a teacher. I think, that deep down, she knew that we wouldn’t find typing relevant, and honestly, the class didn’t take it that seriously.

But one day, she read us an article from the local paper that said that kids needed to learn how to type because computers were going to be a big thing and soon everyone would need to know how to type. It had a huge impact on me—I still remember it very clearly.

I had already been exposed to programming and even had a computer at home. But, coding was just for fun. I didn’t think it would be a job, or that I would be typing every day at work. Mrs. Cohen was the first person that made me think that computers would be more than a toy.