It’s no secret that I’d much rather write longhand than use the computer for my creative endeavors. I like the idea of my brain flowing onto paper through a pen rather than the clacking of keys into pixels. Handwriting is silent and elegant and personally expressive. I don’t receive many hand-written notes these days, except from my mom and I’d know her handwriting anywhere, but when I do I like to look over the letters and spacing, and get a little obsessive about it.
In light of the failure of the LBBP and the rekindling of new smaller more intimate ventures, I’m looking into ways to spice up my handwriting. It’s one thing to write for myself, since I’m the only one reading it, but when we’re talking about others having to decipher it, I get a little worried. Imagine my happy surprise when I started using my Fly Fusion Pen for the first time on Saturday (I will talk about my new toy obsessively for a while so get used to it) and discovered that my handwriting was considered ‘standard” and I don’t have to change anything in regards to how the Pen and Program recognize and translate my handwriting into text. In that regard, I guess I’m pretty normal. *grin*
Still, it interested me greatly to see an article in the Chicago Tribune about the resurgence of handwriting as something that should be specifically taught. Studies show that children with good penmanship are more capable of expressing thoughts coherently with less effort. Also since 2006, the essay portion of the SAT has to be handwritten AND legible. When I was in college, all of my English final exams were in-class essay style and they had to be absolutely legible, whether printed or in cursive.
When I entered first grade, both my mother and I were proud that I had mastered my letters and colors and could print a few choice words and my name (albeit backwards). However my new school being parochial and decidedly interested on a child’s soul, had taught the kindergartners cursive writing in addition to their basic letters, colors, and numbers. God only reads prayers written in neat Palmer Script was what I came away with that first week. I worked very hard at my penmanship for many years before deciding that I hated it. My friends all had fun looking script, and throughout my high school years I experimented.
I don’t know what I settled on, but I do know that in my journals of the last ten years or so, it’s mostly cursive, or some sort of scrolling jumble of both printing and cursive. How I admire letters written between family members or lovers in beautiful penmanship with not a scratch out on the page. I’m absolutely envious. When handwriting, care had to be taken to ensure as few scratch outs as possible, otherwise it was a waste of ink and paper, neither of which were easy to come by. We consider those days old-fashioned and quaint, but the ideas expressed on just a few pages, even from supposedly uneducated people, are deep and clever.
When we use our computers for either texts or e-mails or blogs, we have the luxury of going back and adding an idea or deleting a paragraph. Post Scripts are really no longer necessary but I always enjoy seeing them, even in e-mails.
Tell me about your handwriting. Chicken scratch? Archive-ready? Barely readable?