Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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First, a confession.   My handwriting is terrible.   Really bad.   So bad that little girls would ask me to play doctor just because my handwriting looked best on the prescription pad.   And I could spell Vicodin.    My handwriting was so bad that despite the fact that I'd been told I was gifted, I felt like a complete idiot when my papers would come back saying "MESSY" and then my report card would have B- or Cs in handwriting.   Despite having my hand shoved into shape by teachers and constant pleading and requests to rewrite work,  couldn't help it.  It was impossible for me to write well.   When I was in high school and finally learned to type, I finally learned the ugly truth that my handwriting was costing me letter grades on papers as my "paper a day" World Civilizations teacher started giving me As and Bs on papers that I put less time into than handwritten ones that made Cs and, on one crushing occasion, a D.   Truthfully, typing may be the most important skill I learned in high school.   That and how to be ignored by girls.  

The sad thing is that I loved pens.   It's an addiction that survives to this day.  I will spend hours reading through reviews of pens I will never buy with the same affection that a Star Wars geek has for details of how Jabba The Hut's puppeteers all mysteriously got fat after filming.  (Okay, I made that up, but wouldn't that be cool?  Don't tell the fans.)    

I bring this up because apparently these days most schools believe that learning cursive is the equivalent of learning esperanto.   We'd always learned that cursive was important because it allowed your writing to be faster and flow from your pen, unlike printing each character separately.   But really, what kid needs this in the world of text messages and instant shorthand.  Or, as the kids might say, BRWKNTITWOTMAIS.  LOL POS.  WTF?

I know, I'm one of those parents who thinks the way he learned is better than anything his kid will ever learn.