Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Penmanship Nostalgia

There has been some controversy lately about schools dropping cursive handwriting from the curriculum. Not a huge topic on most people's radar.  But I found it a little sad that the art in writing has taken a hit. I suppose it's inevitable given the way the new generation communicates. I still feel there are advantages to continuing to teach cursive handwriting, but I also know I'm in the minority on that score.

When I saw this sheet of decorative paper at a gift shop, I purchased it immediately and framed it with a frame I happened to have at home.
I hung it in the same room that houses my vintage suitcases, my dress form, and the big wooden paper cutter with the large blade.  I'm afraid cursive handwriting now falls into this category.
I like thinking back to sixth grade and the contest I entered for good penmanship.  The writing was done with pen and ink, and, I did say ink.  The writing elbow had to stay on the desk and the paper was at a slant.  Fluid arm movement was the key to smooth Palmer penmanship.  An extra sheet of paper kept the writing paper free of smudges and was moved slowly down the page as the writing progressed.  If nothing else, it was a lesson in concentration.  One mistake and I had to start over.  Ah, the tension and the determination to make it perfect.  Sounds crazy but I loved it.
I can't say my handwriting looks anything like the Palmer method today.  But if I take my time and get that elbow on the desk, I can still make a pretty good come-back.
Sadly, I think this way of writing may be joining the ranks of the old typewriters.  And yes, I still use all my fingers to type.  So, call me old-fashioned.  I'll take it as a compliment.

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