I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for Adeline Corkran, my high school business teacher. I don’t think they even teach business in high school these days. But Mrs. Corkran taught me how to type, take shorthand, write a proper check, address a letter, and stuff an envelope. I bet you didn’t know there is a right way to stuff an envelope did you?
Every Friday, when we get ready to send out a stack of bills from our office (and thus become those people you hate on Monday when you get your mail) I think of her and the afternoon we spent learning how to fold, stuff, and seal with the least amount of moves. It was an amazing feat.
Typing, however, remains the most essential life-skill she taught, and the one with the largest lesson. No cutesy games or gimmicks for Mrs. C. We learned by pure rote and muscle memory. The first week we typed nothing but “f” and “j”. Our fingers were not allowed to move to any other point on the keyboard until our brains and our index fingers had connected on the truth that hasn’t changed in forty years. I can’t even tell you where the letter “w” is on a keyboard. But I ask me to type the word “water” and my ring finger hits the spot without thinking.
When Wendell and I got married at the end of my senior year, the Corkrans gave us a large family Bible as a wedding gift. It seemed a little strange to me at the time. But after all these years, I’m so grateful. Grateful I can still type 94 words per minute when I’m trying to write a novel. Grateful I can stuff an envelope in three perfect moves. And grateful for the muscle memory that takes me back to the Bible for every issue in life.
I don’t always know what I need in the moment, but I know where to go as surely as my fingers know how to type the word “Help!”.
Thanks, Mrs. C.