6.19.2010

Handwriting fail

We had a power outage last night. 14 hours with no lights and no water (since we're on a well). While it was fun at first, around hour 12, we were no longer amused. To pass the time, I decided to write out a story that Kurt and I came up with in Hawaii. Not wanting to burn through my last hour of battery life, I chose to handwrite the tale and type it up later.

No one told me that handwriting falls into the 'use it or lose it' category of skills. About halfway through the first page, my hand was uncomfortable and legibility was fading fast. As I thought about it, I realized that other than signing my name (given the scrawl, it can only loosely be called "writing"), I hardly ever write anything by hand anymore.

This got me wondering if they even teach handwriting to kids these days. Obviously, you need to know how to write, but I don't see the value in spending hours perfecting one's cursive.

Of course, handwriting lessons were questionable even in my day. It only took one look at the teacher's signature page of our yearbook to see that teachers didn't write in the formal script they were teaching us.

In second grade I took this as license to write however I darn well pleased. My reward: a "C" in handwriting. Despite my valid reasoning that if you could read it, how "wrong" could it be, the fascist teacher wouldn't budge and my C stood. Instead of fighting the power, I sold out and jumped through her hoops (I was only 8!) and got As from then on. If she could only see me now.

Image by AndrewBuck

2 comments:

Craig Miyamoto said...

Terrific essay! And I could read it with no problem either.

I used to have beautiful cursive handwriting, or so my teachers told me. It remained that way until the year I was president of the Honolulu Jaycees and landed in the hospital during the 50th State Fair, which we produced annually.

The club gave me 1,000 "Thank You" certificates to sign while I was laid up. So I accepted my duty graciously, signing away day after day.

By the time I'd done all, you would be hard-pressed to read my name. It's been that way ever since.

I take notes while watching movies so I can write it up later, and heck, sometimes I can't even read my own scrawls!

casch said...

I once received an award for my handwriting. I doubt seriously it win any awards today. When my kids were in school and handwriting was NOT being taught, I tried teahing them a little mself. Now understand, I am not a teacher for a reason! No patience! However, my daughter has very nice handwriting, in fact some people could not tell it apart at one time, my son on the other hand is BARELY legible most times!