You never know…

‘Ike loa is the Hawai’ian value of learning and, as Rosa tells us in Managing With Aloha, knowledge is food for the mind, heart and soul.  Unfortunately, sometimes we all act like stubborn children who refuse to eat the food that’s put in front of us.

Lockers_2 As I watch my kids start in this new school year, I can’t help but wonder which of the things they’ll learn this year will become important to them when they’re older.  Like most kids, the older they get, the more they gripe about various aspects of school (like how they can’t understand why they have to learn some of the things they’re taught because they’ll never need to use it again in their lives).

I must admit they are a lot like me.  Oh sure, I’ve always had a thirst for learning.  I remember when I was about six years old I started reading the Encyclopedia at my grandparents house.  I soon became a fountain of random trivia on things like trains, Amazon wildlife, and all sorts of things that had no practical application in my life.  But I loved it.

In contrast, there were a whole bunch of subjects in school that I really felt were a huge waste of time.  For example: Typing.  When I was in 10th grade, I was required to take typing in high school and I couldn’t see any reason I should be learning to type.  After all, what was I going to do?  I wanted to work in broadcasting-why would I ever need to type?

But, of course, Typing was a required course so I suffered through it and did enough to get a passing grade.

Now, I type every day of my life – and I have for over 20 years, starting right about the time I quit being a full-time radio announcer and took my first job at a small software company.  Looking back, I’m so glad that I was forced to take typing when I was in 10th grade (especially when I see some of my colleagues who are destined to hunt and peck their way through mountains of e-mail).

Thank you, Mrs. Jones, you really made a difference – sorry I was such a pain.

As we move through our lives, we are exposed to numerous opportunities to learn new and different things.  Make the most of those opportunities and feed your mind, heart, and soul every chance you get — you never know what your next typing class might be.

Related items:

Ashamed of our naked skins

Incompetence is wonderful

Where do you invest your 10%?

Everything happens for a reason

Dwayne Melancon is the author of Genuine Curiosity and is always on the lookout for new things to learn.


  1. says

    Ah yes, typing was one class I missed taking. It was not offered at my high school but now I wish I had taken it somewhere along the way. Like you, I have been typing something everyday. My sorta hunt & peck method has developed some speed (with practice, anything can be improved) but I would not win any speed awards.
    I wonder if there are any on-line typing classes? There used to be software programs to help. I’ll have to go looking.

  2. says

    Steve, I highly recommend Mavis Beacon’s typing program – it is a great, CD-based learning tool and takes you from any typing level and helps you improve.
    I bought it a couple of years ago at the advice of David Allen and probably increased my speed by at least 25%.

  3. says

    I never took a typing copurse because I never saw how I would use it. I learned to type on a telex machine and now 2 books and 700 pages later – I was wrong, great observations and insight. Keep up the great work.

  4. says

    Dwayne! I had typing for three years thru high school…and I hated it! Typing has been a part of my job for the past twenty-one years and I am so thankful that I know how to type (minus looking at the numbers), that I cannot sufficiently express it. Right on!
    What a challenge that we have as parents. My lesson learned from daughter #1 was that it paid to just try and set the example. It worked. Eleven years later, daughter #2 who is in high school, pushes us to the limit. So here is Rosemary and Dave trying to set the example and what happens? Good things.
    Daughter #2 has always required extra help in reading and english. Rosemary pulls up Word on her puter to write something and notices that #2 has written a story. Shock! Where have these expressive abilities come from?
    Out-of-this-world connections Dwayne!

  5. says

    Dwayne, the part of your learning that jumped out for me? Reading the encyclopedia. My goodness those books opened the world to us!
    You know, I don’t think that Google and the other search engines have been able to duplicate that element of surprise and delight we would feel sitting cross-legged on the floor, closing our eyes and reaching forward for one of those hard-covered volumes ”so heavy, they were always on the bottom shelf of the bookcase… The book would end up cradled in our laps, opened to a random page which magically you’d never opened to before, even though it seemed like you’d gone through those exact same motions a hundred times. There would be the most profound quote, or the name of some exotic place we never would have imagined existed, or a picture of an animal not found in our zoo —even the fierce ones managed to look so charming!
    My brothers and I would daydream of being in those pages so easily! Sometimes we’d have contests and heated debates about who had found the most interesting page. We always got called away to our chores, a meal, or to bed before any boredom could possibly set in, for there were so many volumes, so many pages, so many wondrous possibilities to be discovered in our treasure hunting. Reach, open, savor. Over and over again.
    Mahalo nui Dwayne; thank you for a very meaningful memory.

  6. says

    Dwayne, I’m with you on this encyclopedia reading thing – my mother told me I was reading them (sort of) when I was 3! I was the “information source” in my household and it still carries over to today with my teammates at work. Rosa nailed it – they were the “Google” of our time. As for typing, I had the same experience in HS and now I really wish I had applied myself to that class! Just like Rosa, this post sparked a few memories that helped me “trace” my learning experiences. Thanks!

  7. says

    Dwayne, I, like the others, feel your pain of the typing class and the illict joy of the encyclopedia reading. I even memorized every joke in the Professor Egghead series and proceed to entertain my family at every opportunity!
    What I enjoy the most of your wonderful article is your “looking back” perspective for your children right now. It makes me want to approach those in my life who are older and ask them what they wish someone had told them at my age. The learning just continues!
    Mahalo for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

  8. says

    Thank you for the kind words, everyone. I’ve been traveling and off-line for most of the past week, but have been able to catch up on the comments and the other learning posts this weekend.
    I think the great think about the learning forum is the variety of perspectives, insights, and “flashback” feelings the posts give me.
    What would my life be like without the connections I make through blogs? I am glad my reach has extended, courtesy of the internet.

  9. says

    Didja know that today is Joe D.Cool’s birthday?

    Hau‘oli la hanau to Dwayne Melancon! There are certain birthdays that deserve all my attention; they are my feelin’ the gratitude days. Today is my gratitude day for Dwayne; Hau‘oli la hanau my friend. Dwayne is one of my spirit