Describe a subject that helped you in life, even though you didn’t like it in school

what was the subject

do you like it now? why

why didn’t you like it in school

and explain how it helped you in your life




Part2 DEMO 1



Part2 DEMO 1

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Sometimes over time you come to completely change your mind about something, even though you never could have imagined you would. It’s the same for me a subject I spent some time studying when I was younger, and I absolutely loathed it. Now, I realise that subject – or more accurately skill – is one of my strongest assets, it has definitely helped me in life, in more ways than I could possibly have realised at the time

So I’ll explain what the subject is, what I think about it now and why … together with how that’s changed from when I was first learning it, and then I’ll try and explain how it has helped me in life, but that could take a while

Strictly speaking, this wasn’t a topic I learned at school, but after I left it. I enrolled at a local college because they were offering a free ‘Intensive Secretarial Course’ and at the time I didn’t have a job so I thought it would be something worthwhile to learn whilst I was doing some volunteering and looking for proper work. The course was many years ago, believe it or not, this was before the internet, and even before networked computers! The course covered typing and shorthand, and also how to lay out business letters properly. Truthfully, I never got the hang of shorthand. The lessons were after lunch and after a few weeks, I stopped going to those sessions as I found that ‘accidentally on purpose’ they clashed with my volunteering… I did however, persevere with typing. Now I can touch type with ease, far faster than I could write anything, and just as fast as I can think. I don’t know that I ‘like’ it exactly, it has become as natural to me as breathing. I just couldn’t imagine being without this skill, it is so, so useful

Why didn’t I like studying it at the time? Where to begin. It was just so boring and repetitive. What’s more, I learned how to type using a manual typewriter, banging out nonsensical phrases on what would now seem to be ancient machines. You had to hit the keys quite fiercely or they wouldn’t strike the inked ribbon hard enough to leave a mark. If you weren’t careful you could actually get your fingers caught between the metal keys. Uurgh, it was horrible! If you made a mistake using carbon paper (that’s the inked paper you used to have to place in between clean sheets if you were making more than one copy of a document) you had to carefully wind out the paper from the machine, ease the pages apart and using liquid paper corrector paint over the mistakes in ever document. It was incredibly fiddly and frustrating. The shorthand classes were even worse! We had to practise taking dictation from a very serious looking woman who read from an archaic book with rather old-fashioned ideas about how women should behave in the workplace. I remember one phrase was ‘and don’t forget ladies, when dressing for the office, your nail varnish, shoes, handbag and other accessories should always match!’ I was horrified. Is that all women were supposed to be? Ornaments for the office? No wonder I stopped going to those classes

The funny thing is, although the course felt like the longest 6 months of my life at the time, it was also fantastically useful. Being able to type helped me straight away both in looking for work and performing once appointed. I could do everything from being able to create my own professional looking CV, complete smart looking application forms and was able to write up my own reports and letters without secretarial support once I started working. This made me a much quicker and more independent worker than my non-typing colleagues. Later on, when computers were introduced, I was way faster than others replying to emails. They were straining over a keyboard picking out the letters one by one, whereas I could touch type comfortably at 70 words a minute! I also found knowing how to produce professionally presented reports and documents gave me a great advantage not only in time, but in how my work was perceived. The only downside was, that I became much more comfortable typing than writing by hand, my handwriting got worse and worse from that point on, now it is barely legible at all

Nowadays touch typing has enabled me to keep a number of blogs, carry on correspondence with people all over the world, and exchange letters with friends and family over many years. In a world where computers are everywhere, I am grateful I can use a keyboard with ease. Though I am left wondering one thing, just as when I learned to type I could never have anticipated how it would be so useful to me later on, I wonder if in the future keyboards too will become a thing of the past. Perhaps we will all have voice activated computers and the image of me sweating over a manual typewriter back in the eighties will seem an even stranger picture than it already does today