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calligraphy≠ 書道


さて、先月5日無くなったスティーブ・ジョブズに纏わる英文はたくさんあるが、彼の生き様をCROWN(三省堂)のReading(平均的には高校3年生向け)のLesson 1で見つけた(正確に言うと、同僚から教えてもらった)。

この中には、英文全体を読んでもピンと来ない箇所がある。以下に、Lesson 1の§1を示す。

“I never graduated from college. Actually, I did go to college but after six months I couldn't see the use in it. So I decided to drop out and hope that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out, I could stop taking the classes that didn't interest me and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

“I decided to take a calligraphy class, and I fount it very interesting. None of this had even a hope of practical use in my life. But ten years later when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me, and we designed it into the Mac. If I had never dropped out, I would never have dropped in on that calligraphy class and personal computers might not have the wonderful calligraphy that they do.

“Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward, but it was very, very clear looking back ten years later. You have to believe that the dots will somehow connect in the future. You must trust in your destiny, believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the usual road, and that will make all the difference.”



Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.


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