Sunday, February 27, 2011


Most people take their computer keyboard for granted, if you use it enough it gets familiar enough that you can find the keys without having to hunt and peck. Having learnt to type on a regular typewriter long before I ever laid fingers on a computer keyboard, I can type at many words per minute. As a matter of course using a computer to construct most of my work has become second nature. Like most familiar things I take this skill for granted, until that is, my computer stayed at home this trip and my friend John graciously lent me his laptop. It is a Mac, since I am PC unfriendly, they tend not to like ,e and behave badly. So far so good. Mine is the more heavy duty MacBook Pro, a four year old workhorse, this is a cuter MacBook. Still for me, a blessing. 

Except for one slight problem, John uses a french keyboard which means that the keys are not where I am used to them.  It is taking me forever to find the right keys. For the first time in almost thirty years, I learnt to type quite young okay, I am having to look at the keys while I type which slows me down. I cannot get it through my head that M is now a comma/question mark. Needless to say frustration is getting the better of me. Do you know how many times you use M and A in English? Lots, that's how many! And while I speak some French, I don't write it so there are lots of mistakes.

And it got me to thinking about all those times when we think we know, or get stuck in a rut because it's familiar. We cling to certain things, people or personality types because we are too afraid or too complacent to try to do something different. Because it is hard, because we are afraid to be alone or we prefer to make the same mistakes because it is easy and breaking out requires work.  All of this from trying to get my brain to accept a keyboard. So yes, there will be mistakes but in the end I will have created a new blog post and perhaps, mastered instinct. 

1 comment:

Gabriela said...

Something similar happened to me recently: I went to the US and took my little netbook. For some reason, one day I left it where I was staying, at a friend's. I used her laptop, that has the keyboard set in Engish. In Spanish we have ¿ and ¡, that don't exist in English (nor in French). It took me for ages to find them, or a way to type them, because I like to write correctly.