A recent post by Chris Brogan talking about Typing Classes reminded me of my own experience. I too had to go to typing classes when I was young (13 I think) and when computers were just starting to come out. I had classes on those old typewriters and you had to press each key really hard. When you made a mistake, there was no ‘backspace’ to fix it… and sometimes you ran out of ink and have to replace the ribbon! Wow, how those classes were horribly long, the minutes passed by slowly and I kept looking at my watch. And then something happened. I started to become faster. I could type without looking at the keys, and speed increased greatly.
It was only after a while that I was really able to put my skill to good use, when I started working in an office environment, and I didn’t have to look at the keys of the computer in order to type something. I was fast, people were amazed. It’s funny how certain things don’t seem to have any value when you’re doing/learning them and you only realize how important they are/were years later.
One day in high school, our math teacher was going over trigonometry and stopped to see if anyone had any questions. I raised my hand and asked “what is this for and how will it help me in the future?”. People turned their heads at me, there was an uncomfortable 2 seconds silence, and then she ignored me and moved on. I still haven’t had a need for trigonometry in my life, but who knows what the future holds?