The Handwriting is On the Wall

Well, another day has passed and I didn’t use Algebra once.                                                      – 60-70 percent of the people all over the world on any given day of the week

Various examples of this saying, of course, can be found on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and other various and sundry forms of social media. But my-oh-my, isn’t it true? Unless you’re an engineer. So a note to my niece Jessie:  I DON’T WANT TO HEAR A WORD FROM YOU MS. ENGINEER! Feel free to use terms such as quadratic equations, coefficient, and variables with all your engineering friends. To me, pi is something you eat with ice cream. And, yes, I know that pi is a geometric term, but I’m using hyperbole to make a point – something writers do!

Frankly, it’s a good thing that I can go through my life without anything more than basic math, because, well, shall we say, I didn’t excel at algebra. Or geometry. Or 6th grade math. Somehow I got through college earning a Bachelor of Science degree without having to take a single math class.

I started thinking about my basic lack of need for advanced mathematics or other things I learned in school at Dagny’s birthday party. Before tearing open each gift, she carefully read the card that was attached. I noticed that she had a bit of trouble if the writing was cursive as opposed to printing. Her mother said reading cursive writing is a bit of a challenge for all of their kids.  That’s because they simply have little need to read or write cursive in these modern times. On the other hand, they all can keyboard with ease.

imagesI’ll bet you no longer see those cards with all of the letters in the alphabet written beautifully in cursive hanging in elementary classrooms. Someone tell me if this is true.

Baby boomers were taught cursive beginning probably in second grade or so. Remember trying to copy those beautifully written letters from the cards hanging above the blackboard? Now kids probably don’t even know what a blackboard is! My handwriting – despite all of my efforts – was never very pretty. And as I aged, my handwriting got even worse. Now, thanks at least in part to my arthritic thumbs, I rarely write anything by hand. My signature is nearly unreadable.

There are folks fighting to have cursive taught in school. There is evidence, for example, that kids retain what they are taught better if they write it out in cursive. I merely wonder how they will be able to read what Grandmother wrote in the genealogy section of the family Bible years from now.

I don’t want to be one of those people stuck in the 20th Century. I recognize that it is likely much more important that kids learn mathematics, keyboarding and computer programming as the world becomes more dependent on technology. After all, 5-year-old Mylee is my technological mentor. She understands how to play Minecraft, something I couldn’t possibly learn.

Still, I miss the days when people wrote like this…..

My Aunt Leona had the most beautiful handwriting until the day she died in her 90s. Perhaps it is unnecessary to tell you she was an elementary school teacher.

My Aunt Leona had the most beautiful handwriting until the day she died in her 90s. Perhaps it is unnecessary to tell you she was an elementary school teacher.

Well, I will continue to look for ways to use my elementary, junior high, and high school skills in my everyday life. I’m pretty good at cutting a cake or pie into the necessary number of servings for my grandkids.


2 thoughts on “The Handwriting is On the Wall

  1. I see a new job title in the future. Cursive Interpreter. That job will require a degree in ancient cursive writing. 😢

  2. I think it is so sad that kids don’t hand write things anymore. Handwriting is so unique to each individual and it is a dying art. And it is a fact that hand writing things down causes you to retain information better.

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