Friday, March 31, 2017

Cursive mounts a comeback!

Cursive writing is mounting a comeback???  Could it be that the fountain pen is not far behind.  There is hope in the eyes of this old curmudgeon.  Two of the best things I learned in school -- cursive handwriting (the old Palmer method) and how to type (no, not keyboarding but typing on a manual typewriter with a minimum of 70 words per minute for an "A" -- which this guy earned).  I cannot think of two things I use more -- daily writing in cursive and actually typing on my computer keyboard without looking at the keys, quickly and accurately.

When I would write on the board in catechism classes, the kids would often complain that they could not read what I wrote.  Sad.  Then when I would watch them "write" in big block letters, usually all capitals, with hand gripping the pencil or pen in a manner not conducive to comfort or penmanship, I would complain.  Maybe others have been complaining and somebody has been listening.
Cursive writing is looping back into style in schools across the country after a generation of students who know only keyboarding, texting and printing out their words longhand.  Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest of 14 states that require cursive. And last fall, the 1.1 million-student New York City schools, the nation’s largest public school system, encouraged the teaching of cursive to students, generally in the third grade. . . .

Penmanship proponents say writing words in an unbroken line of swooshing l’s and three-humped m’s is just a faster, easier way of taking notes. Others say students should be able to understand documents written in cursive, such as, say, a letter from Grandma. And still more say it’s just a good life skill to have, especially when it comes to signing your name.  That was where New York state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis drew the line on the cursive generation gap, when she encountered an 18-year-old at a voter registration event who printed out his name in block letters.
“I said to him, ‘No, you have to sign here,’” Malliotakis said. “And he said, ‘That is my signature. I never learned script.’”

Malliotakis, a Republican from the New York City borough of Staten Island, took her concerns to city education officials and found a receptive audience.


John Joseph Flanagan said...

I wouldn't hold my breath about school's encouraging cursive writing and penmanship. For the most part, articles written in the local paper here in upstate New York bragged about a teacher who threw out the handwritten journals of her elementary class and put laptops on every desk. Some teachers may still hold on to cursive writing, but the newer generation of academics want the students to go with technology. Heck.....they don't even teach much about American history or geography either.

Anonymous said...

The return of cursive would be a beautiful thing. My grandfather had the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen. Every time he picked up pen or pencil, before the tip touched the paper, he did a simple little exercise of loops, then the writing just flowed out onto the paper. It was highly legible, and a thing of real beauty. I wish I could do half as well!

Fr. D+