Monday, April 23, 2012

the most helpful class I ever took

First, a word of warning: I was a goody-goody.

I took every Honors and AP class I could cram in and studied metaphorical fugues in independent studies in between. I was fluent in French and pretty close in Italian. I went to summer classes in college, just because they sounded fun. And then I came home and read *more* books. So when I think back to helpful classes, I'm considering some pretty dorky stuff.

But can you guess the most helpful class I ever took?

Keyboarding.

At the time, in high school, I was furious. I even went to the counselors' office and tried to get an exemption. I had to tote my enormous backpack all the way down to the ass-end of G Hall, where the reprobates smoked outside the doors. I was in a class with people I'd never met before, since they spent most of their time in detention or waiting to beat me up outside of the art hall bathroom. And then, instead of studying, I typed.

A A A. ASDFG. HJKL:. Etc. ACK.

It was awful, painful, excruciatingly dull. I hurried through my typing exercises so that I could finish my homework for other classes early. I growled at grammar errors in the assigned paragraphs and grimaced whenever the teacher stood over my shoulder, judging me not by my big ol' brain, but by my fingers. It was so unfair.

I got an A, at least. A A A A.

But now, when I think about it, I'm grateful for that class. I can type almost as fast as I can think, and that means that the words just flow out. As fast as the story comes to me, I can record it. When I have to actually write in longhand, I get furious with my sausage-y fingers. My words flow together and flatten out until I can barely read what I've written. My hands cramp up, and I get ink all over myself, and I'm reminded that I would never have made it in Jane Austen's world. 

When I think back to all the worry and time I put into AP Calculus and how very little it effects my current life, I'm kind of bemused. I can't even remember my keyboarding teacher's name to thank her, but I owe her as much as I owe my AP English teacher.

Funny, how the things you resented at the time can one day make all the difference.

*

5 comments:

Kathryn said...

I agree one hundred percent. I had to take keyboarding in grade nine (first year of high school in Canada) and I didn't hate it, but it was definitely tedious. Still, I can now type 100 wpm and it's a super useful skill to have, whether writing or for resumes.

Anonymous said...

As one of those reprobates smoking at the end of G hall, I also really appreciate what typing class did for me. I didn't waste a lot of time working hard, though, in the other classes.

The sucker punch is not so named for the puncher.

delilah s. dawson said...

You never smoked. You just forced me to draw offensive t-shirts and wrote all over my Geography book.

Anonymous said...

That's true. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life...

I don't know if "offensive" is correct, though. "Hilarious." That fits better.

Anonymous said...

That's true. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life...

I don't know if "offensive" is correct, though. "Hilarious." That fits better.