The Space Bar

Typing. The Keyboard. Computers. These were all things that I grew up working with. I’ve typed for as long as I can remember. But the learning process to become a touch typist was a bit of a challenge for me.

We started typing at an early age. Or what seems now like an early age. It was in third grade that we finally started our computer class. We were finally reaching the point when we would have to type our final papers, instead of handwrite them. It was a big step.  Computer Science was the coolest class as there was no lecture period, we had one class where we learned where our ‘home row,’ but after that, all we would do would be sit in the computer lab and play typing ‘games.’

These included games where we typed out story books, with the friendliest spooky ghost imaginable narrating; a program with virus and righty and lefty; a program where we were kayaking and had to type as fast as possible with as much accuracy as possible to win the kayaking race.

The first two were frustrating, but once I got the hang of the keyboard, they were relatively easy to complete. But this kayaking program. Got me every time. With the kayaking program, you had to type random letters. It wasn’t a story where you could intuit what the next word would be. You had to read, not think and just type. Easy enough for normal people. But my brain lacked the common sense to press the button that is most commonly pressed. The space bar.

There were spaces between these random letters. And I would start every program just fine, but once I got to a portion where there was a gap, I was at a loss for what I had to do. I would attempt to covertly look over at fellow students, who were also playing this program to see what they were doing, and how they were finishing this game.

Only half way through the semester, on a day when I was not thinking about it did I go in, start the program, and automatically press the space bar. I felt like the biggest idiot on the planet, but I learned that day that problems can be as easy as just learning to press the space bar.

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