“Hey Dad,” I ask casually, “will you give me a dollar for every word that I exceed my previous typing score? Right now I’m up to forty-two words per minute and could use a little motivation to see if I can improve my numbers.” 

“Sure, son,” he says pleased thinking that I want to excel. ‘”You pass 42 words and I’ll give you a buck for each word.”

Just as necessity is the mother of invention, I have figured out the mother of all typing scams. This is how it works. To protect the typewriter cartridge, two pieces of paper are inserted into the machine—a clean piece of paper and a used piece with typing already on one side. During the practice run, I secretly reverse the two pieces of paper. Then, carefully and methodically, I type a paragraph on the clean piece of paper, making sure that I improve my last score by at least two words. When Mr. Brian calls time, I keep typing until I reach my goal. Since it is a practice run, Mr. Brian doesn’t care that I keep going after time is called. Then when it’s time to take the graded test, I put my two pieces of paper in backwards. Therefore, when I type, I am typing on the back-side of the used, discarded sheet, and the clean “practice” sheet behind it remains protected. I stop typing on-the-button when time is called. I remove both sheets, flip them around, and hand in the practice sheet. I repeat this scam over and over, and Mr. Brian believes that I have gone from typing 42 words per minute to 54 words per minute.