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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Traumatic Typing Test

typingThe Day of Reckoning has come. Again.

I discovered that some of our kids were not doing their typing classes in an entirely kosher manner last year. Or let’s just say they weren’t doing typing at all.

They told their father that they were practicing religiously. I never happened to see them typing at any time, but details, details. Then towards the end of the school year I said they needed to take their typing test to see how the progress was going… and a royal fit ensued.

How dare I attempt to measure their prowess-! They prove that they know absolutely nothing FingerChartabout touch-typing when I instruct them that they are not allowed to look at their hands.


So they proceed to mash the keys in gobbley-gook, unintelligible, consonantal craziness. Not cool. The proposed plan is to spend an hour or two typing every. single. weekday. during the summer. They do.

And then I say I’m going to test them at the end of summer. Which is now. Which they have refused for the last three weeks straight.

“Tomorrow.” “In a couple of days.” “Next week.”

ClipArtSnoopyTyping“Listen,” I tell them, “we are not starting school until you finish your subjects from last year, and that includes typing.”

With their father’s intervention and everyone calling ME the meanie, I am not allowed to test them. Until after school starts. I ask again on the first day of school.

“It’s the first day of school!” my husband is incredulous. How could I suggest testing just as school is getting started-?!

Right. And on and on it goes. Until I finally pin them down. The five-minute typing test morphs into a three-minute test and then a one-minute test. They can’t handle it. I’ve seen Sashenka practicing diligently, but her older sister and brother, Mashenka and Pasha, not really. They insist that their fingers cannot do what they’re supposed to do, that it’s humanly impossible to be expected to do such a thing as type on a keyboard.

So they offer up their youngest sibling as the sacrificial lamb who will go first. I calm her down andtyping-class-dwight-cook speak soothingly to her. She really doesn’t seem to be nervous. I give her, and the others, two tries at a one-minute typing test.

Sashenka ends up with 39.8 words per minute gross score, 32.8 net score (adjusted with errors) and an accuracy rate of 82.41%. Not too bad.

Her sister refuses to come to the test. She tells me she’s busy. I say it’s time for the test. She comes with a rotten attitude. I tell her how to start the test and her first attempt ends up with a whopping 1.4 wpm. Yep. 1.4. Incredible. I ask her to do it again, like her sister and she says she doesn’t want to, but I set it up for her anyway, saying that otherwise, this will be her score for the entire year.  The keyboard feels different, she insists, talking during the entire test, while every word turns into mixed-up gobbledy-gook again as the excuses pile up.

thThe next time she nets 5.4 wpm. And 43% accuracy.

Really. I’m disappointed. A one-fingered blind man could type better and faster than this. Still, I say encouraging things, leaving out the editorial comments and tell her we’ll find a program where she can pick up the skill.

Her brother Pasha is next. He has practiced the least, so I can only imagine. Despite this, and the fact that he and Mashenka appear to have never mastered the concept of “home row” where their fingers must rest in order to reach the other keys, he still nets 8.4 wpm. And 63% accuracy.

There you have it. So rather than rant and rave, I was supportive while taking the matter-of-fact approach:

We will be taking typing again this year and yes, you can pass. And so went Day Two of school.


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