“Take out a sheet of paper this test will be timed and graded. When the buzzer sounds stop typing, circle your mistakes and turn your paper in as you leave.”

#*#@=! Typing class.

At the sound of the bell, 30 Royal Classic Manual typewriters with return handles began typing with incredible fury and deafening noise. It was intimidating. Just loading the typing paper in straight was challenging for me. In what seemed like seconds my peers in the class could finish and score a perfect grade before I had typed my first few lines.

It was 8th grade year and my last class of the day, which only served to decrease the lack of speed and precision my fingers could move on the keys.

Mrs. Stargle, the typing teacher, had a strange resemblance to Cruella de Vil.

A streak of silver hair wrapped her dark coiffed head, and she commanded us with looks of evil. Each grading period I would dread opening my report card. I expected a low grade but her comments about my lack of improvement made me cringe.

Typing class became the bane of my existence. My final report card, her comment paralyzed me. In large red marker at bottom of the card, she wrote


Fortunately, my mom, thought the woman was off her rocker to brand me in such a way over a “few” typing mistakes. Her response softened my humiliation.

As luck would have it- typewriters improved. The IBM Selectric kept my keys from sticking, the Word processor of the 90’s released the burden of the red and black ribbon cartridges, the whiteout, and the carbon paper. It only got better from there…….

Will she ever learn to type? Mrs. Stargle if you only knew!