I learned how to type in my freshman year of high school, but was really never too good at it, because the typewriter I had lost its letter "K" at the beginning of sophomore year of high school, and we didn’t get it fixed until I had gotten an electric model when I started college. That was my fault: while I had told my mother that I had the K problem, I didn’t make enough of a stink about it. When it came time for Jim to write his term paper in junior year, Mom borrowed Grandma’s typewriter instead of fixing ours.
Anyway, I was a really awful typist because I hardly did any in high school, and this was a huge problem when I got to college. Even though I had an electric typewriter, I didn’t practice enough, and, being the procrastinator that I am, I wouldn’t start typing a paper until the night before it was due. A task that should have taken no more than a half hour (i.e. typing a 5-page paper) would take me a lot more than that, because I had to keep stopping and correcting errors.
I couldn’t find an efficient way to correct errors. Erasing left ghosts of the incorrect letters on the page, correction tape wasn’t much better, and Liquid Paper tended to go on a little too thick, plus the little bottle was a little too easy to knock over and create a huge mess. My electric typewriter was a Coronamatic, which kept the ribbon in a cartridge, and they came up with the idea of putting correction tape in a similar cartridge, so that, when I made a mistake, I could slide the ribbon cartridge out and slide the correction cartridge in. That way, I could spend countless minutes sliding cartridges in and out of the machine.
That was when someone told me about erasable bond paper. I could go back to using my eraser and wipe the mistakes out that way. Didn’t change the fact that I was making typos every two minutes, but for some reason I found it less stressful.
Still, I wish I had been born about ten years later, so that computers with word-processing software would have been available right when I needed them.