The most useful class I ever took

I took typing as a class in summer (high) school. We had to repeat the same exercise — a sort of fairy tale — over and over, presumably increasing our speed and accuracy each time. Before long, I was typing so fast that out of boredom I started supplementing the original story with my own additions.

Taking me aside, the teacher explained that while I was typing faster and more accurately than anybody else in the class, he’d have to fail me because I was still hunting-and-pecking. Graciously, he added that were it in his power, he would have given me an “A” in creative writing.

He let me drop out, giving me an incomplete, which didn’t work against me as a “fail” would have.

Which is why when I was drafted into the Army, I figured I’d wind up as a clerk-typist, as the required typing speed was something like 12 wpm. But that’s another story, with no typing — and a lot of floor-mopping — involved.

I’ll have to tell you, though: I have typed pretty much every day of my professional life and beyond. And, other than English (which was a series of classes), there isn’t another class I took that has rewarded me as much.

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