I was the only boy in my high school typing class, which dating-wise turned out a lot better for me than being a third-string football player. If one all-girl class was good, I thought, two had to be even better, so I tried to switch from conversational French to home economics, but they wouldn’t let boys take home economics back in the Dark Ages. And the girls couldn’t take shop. No wonder men never learned how to clean a bathroom or do the laundry or make a grocery list. You’re not buying that? Neither does my wife. I still type pretty well but everything else they taught in high school is long gone. Chemical bonds? Trigonometry? The Lake Poets? I don’t even remember sitting through those classes, even though I sat through some of them more than once.
Typing worked out for me in all kinds of ways. It came in a lot handier than knowing how to pass a football. It helped me get my foot in the door at many companies back when knowing how to use an IBM Selectric was considered a highly practical skill. Selectric typewriters were the sleekest, sexiest productivity tools of their day. Each one weighed about 40 pounds and took up a huge chunk of desk space, but they screamed, “You work in a modern office in a big glass skyscraper that spits out a lot of stuff that has to be typed and mailed.” When computers first started showing up in offices, Selectric typists weren’t scared of them at all. One look at the computer keyboard and they knew they couldn’t be that hard to use. While Selectrics went the way of the Model T, keyboards still remain. Typing is still a useful skill.