Recently, I was sitting around, killing time with a few lawyers (before I offered my Rainmaker presentation).

One of them asked me, of all my studies, what class most changed me? What single class made the most difference in who I am?

I have an odd answer to this.

I’ve taken great courses from wonderful teachers in hundreds of subjects from mathematics to Milton; satire to sculpture; tai chi to Chaucer.

But if I had to pick only one course for how much it changed me, I’d pick: typing.

Really. Ten-finger touch-typing.

Before the eighth or ninth grade, Mr. Russ Owen, the track coach at the local Bexley High, taught typing at summer school.  (I never quite understood what track and typing had to do with each other. Perhaps they were close to each other in the dictionary.)

But Coach Owen was nice enough to teach it.

How Did The Class Change Me?

By teaching me how to type — and type fast — it helped turn the words in my mind into the words on the page. As the thoughts became tangibly visible, writing became a real and fun way to express myself.

Now I write.

I think it was the class on typing.

What about you? What course made the most difference?