I have written a monthly column more than 200 times, and I have approached my assignment the same way each time. Just limber up the index fingers on each hand and begin typing.
My confession is that I am no typist even though I earned an "A" in eighth-grade typing, and I got that by cheating. When they teach you to type in junior high, they teach you to use all of your fingers. When my teacher wasn't looking, I tucked back several of those fingers and typed with the only ones that mattered. If my teacher looked in my direction, I began to use a few more. All he knew is that I never made a mistake, and I typed faster than anyone else in the class. Hence I got an "A" in typing.
Now for the bad news: I became the teacher's pet in my typing class.
I would stand in front of the class and demonstrate typing, and I did it all wrong. It wasn't because I didn't know how to type, but I couldn't teach the class using the accepted curriculum for that course. I didn't pay attention in class, and I didn't read the textbook.
Soon, though, my teacher recommended me to teach my technique to other classes. It seems that I was singled out because I was a guy in a class that girls excelled in. My teacher was using me to set an example for the rest of the school. I was a phenom in front of my Brothers typewriter. I was a classic non-textbook typing legend.
As years went by, I perfected the two-finger technique. It was comfortable for me. My aunt was a secretary and commented that I was doing it all wrong. After several attempts to do it her way, I went back to my old habits and pounded on the keyboard with my pointer fingers.
That brings me to the present day. I have been out of junior high school for 46 years. I am still typing with two fingers, but they ache. I now have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have been punished for cheating in my typing class, for a life as a two-fingered fraud. There is no telling how many students have been affected by my ill-gotten fame. All I know is that it hurts to type with those two fingers that have always been there for me. What began as a simple way of getting an "A" in an elective course has come back to haunt me, and now I have to repent for my sins. I promise to use my pinky fingers when I type my next column. That's a start.