The Most Valuable Class I Took

In middle school, when I was about 12, I had a rotating non-academic period in my schedule. For at least 6 weeks, I can remember we had a typing class. We would go into the school computer lab and practice “touch typing”. I typed the letter “f” with my left index figure hundreds of times. They made us put a cover over our hands to force us to practice typing without looking.

I resented that class. I hated taking the long way round. I hated typing the letter “f” over and over. Since it’s so boring, I don’t know if I would have forced myself to learn QWERTY touch typing. Part of the value of school is a framework in which you do things that you don’t have the discipline to do on your own. (Tyler Cowen has written somewhere about teachers as coaches, but I could not find the link.)

Looking back, this is the most valuable thing I did in school. I’m writing this post almost as fast as I can think of the words.

Learning to type is not useful if you can’t read or write. I’m not saying that nothing else I did in school was valuable. Also, I recognize that this would not be the most valuable class for every student.  

There is the potential for Speech to Text to make touch typing obsolete. I don’t think I would work better that way and I do not personally know any professionals who write using Speech to Text.

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