What's the best class you ever took? "Best" being flexible (like totally): most useful, most informative, most fun, cutest classmates, etc.
For me, hands down: Mr. Simpson's 0800 freshman typing in the unheated basement of the Athena First Baptist Church. I think I still have my 40 wpm pin. Somewhere. I was oafishly proud even though I won trophies for speech-debate and drumming & stuff…
My childe bride suggests that I get a new keyboard because the current one has worn keys amid the cookie crumbs and chocolate residue. I told her that I'm an excellent to superb Touch Typist and do not look at the keys for other than computer commands, and maybe numerals. (Besides: any mis-types immediately show on the screen.)
Got to thinking:
Turns out there are twenty-three THOUSAND Google hits for "touch typing" and "blank keyboards."
I'll make some lucky girl a fine secretary someday.
ohwait...already doing that.
I posted an inquiry on Facebook and received several dozen responses. Herewith a compendium of replies:
From my brother who attended Stanford & Oxford…
“Tropical disease vectors, thought by a visiting British expert on tsetse flies. Small class in which I got to know the Huntington twin sisters.”
“Took typing in 9th grade, Schroeder JHS, Grand Forks, 1968 or 1969. Way up in the Northland, late 60s, still a novelty having a guy in what was predominately a female-dominated class."
“I’m not sure I’d say ‘best’ for typing, but ‘Most Valuable’ would certainly apply.
“And the teacher hated me.
“Catalina High School, Tucson, 1971.”
“Water ballet. Me, another dude and about 20 chicks. My last quarter at Auburn; needed the credit hours.”
“As for distractions, the heck with teenage girls: Fraulein Schmidt (or whatever her name was), student teaching in my German class, Catalina HS, 1971, had a propensity to wear highly form-fitting attire. Wow…”
“Junior Algebra at South Salem sitting next to Kim Olson's miniskirt. Didn't learn a darn thing all year.”
“My sophomore algebra class had a student teacher who was running for Rodeo Queen out at ENMU (Nuevo Mexico). Her Levi’s (generic term only) were properly painted on, and when she was chalking stuff on the blackboard, blood shifted south in all the boys.
“By the time I was a senior, I had emerged from my feral stage and studied. My favorite class ever was English Lit, especially the Romantic Poets, and I actually was one of two to be exempt from the final.“
Two parachutists including, “Army airborne training as an AF ROTC cadet. Only school that requires you to drop out five times in order to graduate!” And the 82nd Airborne jumpmaster course.
“API 250 with Jeff Cooper!” (A graduate of the American Pistol Institute.)
“Open science lab on the second floor and making stink bombs to drop on the open windows of the study hall below?”
“Land survival, resistance, escape and evasion near Spokane, Washington. You go in one way, you come out way different.”
“Humanities, senior year in high school, 1969. We spent two weeks on how advertisers and the media use words to influence your thinking. Mr. Jansen gave us the tools to sift through the BS and see the truth for ourselves. There was a lot more meat to that class, and I owe that great teacher a lot.”
“Airplane stability and control. Prof. J.J. Harper, Georgia Tech 76-77.”
“Financial accounting at Indian River College, Florida. One day the prof did a sidebar module on the power of compound interest and the importance of investing early in life. It was one of the most practical lessons of life that should be mandatory for every high school student.”
“The Kentucky state hazardous devices technician took me along as the sorcerer’s apprentice to a bomb and arson investigation seminar over a week. It included the drive from Louisville to Lexington and back daily. What an education!”
“Miss BeVier’s chemistry class, where my classmates and I secretly produced rocket fuel and built an eight-inch rocket, then while she was at a meeting, took it up to the high school roof and launched! It exploded on liftoff, sending pieces into the parking lot. We almost got expelled (again).”
“Vocational drafting in high school. We had Mr. Hancock, and during the classroom part we thought we were distracting him by getting him off topic but eventually we realized he knew exactly what we were doing, and that there was always a life lesson there. To this day I believe we learned more about the world than we ever would have if he’d strictly followed the lesson plan.”
“History of technology and Society.”
“Death and Dying in History. Kansas State University 1994. Fascinating how humans have treated death.”
“Power mechanics in high school was probably the most fun and learning experience I had in any schools including college. The courses focused on automotive and industrial engines, gasoline and diesel. It was the beginning of my journey that led to an A&P and I/A certificates plus other aviation related goals. Fun times when I was very young.”
“David Alvarez’s class on European politics at St. Mary’s College in California. I didn’t realize the diversity of political-legal systems in the Western world. His class on film noir was more fun, though.”
“Country and western dancing at Texas A&M!”
“Maine Maritime Academy Prof. Groves Herrick, formerly of Sikorsky Aircraft and worked for Igor. A great class that explored explosive changes like what items gave women a chance to leave the home and work outside. Vacuums and washing machines saved time over rug beaters and washboards. We talked about repeating firearms, assembly lines and the loss of oral storytelling around the fire or cracker barrel. I landed an A the day I finished Sam McGee by Robert Service, proving a point that no one knew poems like that anymore.”