Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bye bye cursive...

I was listening to a podcast today and the hosts were talking to a 40-something man who was taking university classes. His class was asked to take notes then the notes were shuffled around the class for others to read. This man's notes were written in cursive and most of the recent high school grads couldn't read what he'd written. Yikes.

I should have known things were headed this way. A few years ago my dad gave my kids a sizeable cheque inside a Christmas card. Inside he had written "Look at how much I gave you, you little dorks... I demand your complete and utter devotion now and forever" (I may have paraphrased, there) in the most beautiful, florid hand. As he looked at my kids eagerly, waiting for the group hugs and tears of gratitude, they just stared blankly at that damned card. I think they actually started turning it sideways before I slapped it out of their hands. Ugh. They couldn't read what he'd written.

I remember when Elliott was in grade 3 and he brought home a cursive writing sheet. Once. The other kids never had them.

I get why they don't teach it anymore, I really do. The internet and computers have pretty much sealed the fate of cursive handwriting. But it's such a shame. For me, cursive is so much faster than printing. And if I take my time with it, I can do a pretty good job. Plus it's a sure bet that if I write a mash note to Scott and leave it lying around the house, the kids won't be able to read it. Okay, that's a silly example. More like if I leave a grocery list out they won't know if I'm getting cookies or not.

This is not my writing (or spelling)

My mother had the most gorgeous handwriting. So much so that I have a tattoo of it on my arm. And that brings up another point. My parents had a long courtship that was mostly conducted through letters. I have a pile of them and since both of them wrote in old-style cursive it's hard for even me to read. My kids will never be able to read the letter my dad wrote asking my mum to marry him. Come on, doesn't that pluck at your heartstrings?


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