Yesterday we talked about a portion of Steven Jobs’ famous 2005 commencement speech about connecting the dots. From personal experience, I’ve come to see the truth of Jobs’ statements: you really don’t know how the dots will connect until you can look back over your life.
My example is taking Business Typing with Mrs. Haskell. I really didn’t want to take it because I was not interested in becoming a secretary or an office assistant. As a teen, I thought I’d have some sort of executive job and I’d have secretaries and assistants who would do the typing for me. My parents, though, counseled that it couldn’t hurt to take the typing class. They knew that at some point I wanted to get married and have children and they said I might find that I needed a part-time job while raising the kids and businesses are always looking for good typists.
Reluctantly, I signed up for the class. Although Mrs. Haskell was a taskmaster, I learned many skills that have served me well throughout my life. For instance, I learned how to type without looking at the keyboard. Also, I learned how to format a business letter: the correct salutations to use and the proper closings; how to write a clear, succinct letter and how to indicate there were enclosures with that letter; and how to properly address a business envelope.
I’ve written many letters over the years–to my child’s teachers, to companies explaining returns, letters to business associates congratulating them on their achievements, etc.–and each time I was grateful to Mrs. Haskell.
The skill that I am also very grateful for is typing, the very skill at which I turned up my nose. Not only did it help me with creating professional letters but, more importantly, when computers “took over the world”, I had no trouble with using the keyboard. Many people I knew, particularly the men, used the “hunt and peck” method using just two or three fingers on the keyboard. It was one thing about using computers that I didn’t have to learn–yay!
With today’s mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and the like, touch-typing (as it’s called) is becoming less critical. However, that doesn’t diminish my gratitude to my parents for their wise counsel (once again!) and for Mrs. Haskell in holding us to her high standards.
How have the dots connected for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,