Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener.’
Who is your favorite teacher? What did this person do to hold the distinction of your favorite? Do you emulate the characteristics they displayed towards you? How has this person impacted your journey? (Trick question)
Decided to reverse my normal pattern and get right to the questions I wanted to pose to readers.
I’ve been contemplating writing something about teachers or role models for a while. Just needed a little inspiration and a logical way to highlight the importance of my favorite teacher and how the Walk into the Future blog technically originated in a Typing 1 high school course.
Mattie Fouraker is my favorite teacher. Please note, I’ve had some amazing folks to guide me throughout my entire journey, but Mrs. Fouraker provided me with the tool I use every day—the ability to type.
The Typing 1 class was an elective I decided to take in the 10th grade. My main reason for taking the class was it was full of young ladies who had an interest in typing. My interest was being in a class full of young ladies—almost had the class to myself but one of my male friends decided to join me.
My goal was to just sit in the class and do as little as possible—had no idea typing would be a central part of my adult life. Mrs. Fouraker must have read my ‘thought bubble’ for why I was in her class. She told me on day one that she expected me to keep up and perform as well as the rest of the class. She never wavered on her expectations for me and provided the encouragement to learn, perform and get better every day. My competitive nature came out as well because I wanted to get faster and more accurate.
Practice, repetition and encouragement produced results that allowed me to win a typing award for speed and accuracy. I finished as the fastest and most accurate student in the class to the amazement of the other students. My status didn’t faze Mrs. Fouraker because she saw ‘promise’ in me and nurtured the process to ensure I was successful—she even made a point to keep the young ladies in the class away from ‘me’ so I didn’t get distracted.
I had no idea at the time how valuable this class and Mrs. Fouraker’s guidance would be on my future!
Mrs. Fouraker and I still communicate to this day and she always asks me if I still type 65 words per minute. 😊 She occasionally reads my blog, so hoping she enjoys the fact I’m still typing away.
Projects (Book, dissertation)
My time in the Air Force allowed me to perform multiple roles: computer analyst, instructor, leader and event planner. The skill that overlapped in all these roles was my ability to type. The computer analyst role required I write code for hours on end. The amount of coding and testing we were able to complete was enhanced because of my typing speed and accuracy. Who knew a class in 10th grade would impact the Air Force mission so much!
I was able to fulfill a lifelong goal in 2010 when I published a book. The ability to type provided me with the foundation to generate enough content prior to editing the book. Typing allows me to get my thoughts down since I’ve never been able to keep up with my ‘active’ thoughts writing by hand. This also helps because I don’t have the greatest handwriting and have trouble trying to decipher ‘what’ I was trying to express—typing eliminates these issues for me AND anyone trying to read my writing.
My PhD dissertation topped out at 107 total pages, but I wrote about 3 times that amount of material to get to my finished product. Mandatory edits presented to me by the dissertation committee members were quickly incorporated within the document with ease. The typing lessons learned (proper hand placement, key locations, etc.) allowed me to complete this task within minimal time and check off another major milestone in my journey.
The published Walk into the Future articles are another example of Mrs. Fouraker’s impact. Most of the published articles are conceived and written in one session. I normally take a topic (suggested by a tree branch, personal experience, current topic, etc.) and sit down to find my inspiration to write. I sit down and begin typing once I identify an angle I want to take with the article. I can always go back and edit things to make more concise but most of what you read in the Walk into the Future blog was thought of and written in the same session. Lessons learned in that 10th grade typing class provide me with the capability to generate ideas and get them down quickly. FYI, I still don’t look at the keys or my hands when typing! 😉
Thanks to Mrs. Fouraker for providing me with tools I have leveraged my entire adult life. Her dedication and patience displayed years ago enables me to chronicle my current Walk into the Future and continue to move forward—well done!!!
‘What we learn with pleasure we never forget.’