February 24th, 2008
I guess you could say it was fortuitous, maybe Karma or, as Rev. Elizabeth would say, a Godincident. Perhaps it was just plain old circumstances begetting circumstances. Maybe it was a little bit of all of the above. The bottom line is, in 1971, I signed up to take the Grade 10 Typing class.
As much as I would like to think there was some karmic force at work, I don't recall being motivated by the possibility that typing would come in so handy later on in my life.
Truth is, it was the path of least resistance. You see, back then, students were only required to pass twenty-one classes (credits) to receive their High School Diploma. Typing seemed like a pretty cheap credit to me! At the very least, it seemed much easier than Chemistry or Physics and the Typing class had about a 10-1 ratio of girls to boys! It was a perfect combination for an underachieving, testosterone filled 15-year old male!
That year, Mr. Miller was our teacher and I can still hear his metronome going “click-clack-click-clack” and his constant instruction to, “Keep in time and elevate those wrists!”
For someone with an attention deficiency, (I'm just guessing, nobody diagnosed ADD back then, you were just a “troublemaker”), I managed to survive the school-term and got a pretty decent mark, if I remember correctly.
What the heck, I thought, I might as well take it again in Grade 11, too; cheap credit and all. Turns out we got a new teacher for the class that year. She had a deficiency as well. She was deficient about two yards of material from her skirts! Wow, those mini skirts were, well...mini! I was locked in!
By the time I finished high school I was typing about 65 words a minute. I can't remember if that was good or bad but it was good enough for a passing mark. With all of the distractions it's hard to believe I could hit any of the correct keys at all!
“Good enough”, “close enough”, “gettin' by”; those were my mottos, back in the day. As far as my academics were concerned, anyway. I don't recall too many report cards that didn't say, “Perry would do much better if he would just try harder.” "Try harder!? Whadyamean?! I'm gettin' by!”
Do you really think that boys are receptive to the learning experience between the ages of 13- to-18? Most, you say? Some, perhaps? Maybe someone should check it out. Maybe they have. I know this boy wasn't too excited about school when I was thirteen and by the time I was 18 I knew everything anyway! Or so I thought!
Whatever the motivation, or lack thereof, the old typing skills have come in quite handy in the thirtysome years that I have been out of high school. I guess if one truly is a little attention deficient and is fortunate enough to inhabit the planet for a long period of time, many of the skills picked up along the way may just become quite useful indeed.
“Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”- Lou Holtz.