In the summer of my eighth grade year, my parents sent me to typing school. We were going to get our first Macintosh computer (*the* first Macintosh), and my folks had the foresight to say that they wanted me to learn typing before having it. My brother was told the same thing, but he kind of blew off the classes, and spent the entire summer typing the funniest possible things to me while I struggled to keep my fingers on the F and the J keys. Without my brother, I wouldn’t have made it through the tedium of typing, so even though he didn’t learn the skill, his sacrifice got me to where I am.
I type really fast. In the rare times when I’m at an office space for a while, cubicle mates almost always swing by to see if I’m pretending or something. I guess when you type fast, you type loudly. I never hear it, because when I’m typing fast, I’m concentrating.
The thing is: this has gone on to give me a huge advantage over those who can only peck out a few letters at a time and have to stare down at the keys to do so. I am far more proficient, which means that I can get my ideas across much faster. In the real-time web world, that’s obviously a win. But even in the “slow web” world, it’s still a powerful thing to be able to type.
What other skills could I learn that would help me for the rest of my life? Journalists learn how to tell balanced and detailed stories. They learn how to edit down their ideas to tight, concise pieces. Lawyers learn how to weigh potential risks and outcomes. Athletes learn perseverance.
What other skills do you wish that YOU had when considering the rest of your life?
(Oh, and thanks Mom and Dad for insisting that I take typing, and thanks, Thom, for screwing off and making me laugh instead.)
Photo credit wiertz
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