Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm Not Gonna Write You An Essay

Cause you asked for it, cause you need one.

I understand that in this ever-changing, fast-paced technology-science-based world, many things have become obsolete and archaic. The written word in black & white on paper, is being replaced by e-books; phone calls and house calls are being replaced by text messaging; CDs and cassette tapes are being replaced by MP3s and iPods; maps are being replaced by GPS's and smart phones; dictionaries & common sense are being replaced by spellcheck etc. etc etc.

And, usually, these changes are necessary. There's no doubt that correspondence with other humans has become faster, more efficient, and less expensive. However, I believe there is a caveat to this "modern" electronic-forward world we're living in.

It's come to my attention that schools are considering eliminating handwriting/cursive classes from the elementary/middle school/high school curriculum. (If you're dubious, simply google 'teaching handwriting' and you'll come up with a bunch of articles discussing this matter.)

This not only infuriates me, considering the fact that American primary schools suck in every subject and that not 40 years ago children in the fourth grade were reading Silars Marner by George Eliot & now they're reading Diary of A Wimpy Kid, but this also frightens me about the future of my children's quality of education in addition to the education of the future leaders of this country & the world.

Now I understand how this can be seen as trivial and frivolous rather than worrisome, but if you don't feel as I do that this is a grave and alarming mistake, I'll simply point out a few reasons against removing the handwriting segments of education from the school systems.

1.) There's a book titled Try to Feel it My Way by Suzette Elgin. This book discusses the different learners in our cultures and how certain people communicate, specifically men and women who are touch dominant learners/communicators. Now of course there are visual learners, audio learners and kinesthetic learners.About 10% of the human population are of the latter, which may seem like a minimal amount, but I believe that it's much more than you would think. Myself, I believe I'm a combination learner, both visual and kinesthetic. It honestly depends on the situation. But I do remember the subjects and concepts that stuck with me the most were the things depicted in a movie, a picture, a photograph, etc. in addition to writing it out.

Let me give an example, when I am preparing to give a talk, a discussion, a lecture, or even trying to come up with an appropriate way to break up with a guy, I have to write it out! Whatever it is! Not only do I have to write it down, I have to SEE it written down. Both my hands and my eyes are soaking that information up, making it twice as easy to recall it to remembrance when the time comes.

Now, what does this have to do with handwriting/cursive classes? Think about it. Yes, there is something to be said for typing on a computer or texting on an iPhone, but writing includes the kinesthetic touch dominant learners. As well as the visual learners. Kinesthetic learners are able to actually physically write out everything, while visual learners see it written. Sorry, how is handwriting antiquated? If that's not a strong enough argument, feel free to see the next one.

2.) If students don't know how to write in cursive, they'll certainly not know how to read it as well. For example: If a student is reading the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, or even their mother's diary after she's passed away, how on earth are they going to be able to read and understand what it is they're writing? Now, I know this is kind of hitting this topic below the belt, but I'm serious! I understand some documents, like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is already typed out but there are ALWAYS going to be records, scripts, speeches, diaries and more that are going to be handwritten as well as written in cursive.

3.) There are still things in this day and age that require good handwriting, and even cursive. People still write checks, people still write Thank You cards, people still write in Birthday cards, Baby shower cards, Wedding cards etc, people still write in Wedding guest books, people still sign their name, people still write notes, people still write their names on name tags, people still write in multiple games, doctors still write diagnoses, etc etc etc etc. I could go on!

So if that's the case, it would be disastrous for children to no longer learn the art of handwriting and cursive. If only to just encapsulate their learning and retain their creativity. Sir Francis Bacon once said:

#AUTHORHOUSE WRITING INSPIRATION  Today we celebrate Sir Francis Bacon’s birthday with some of his philosophizing

If we want our children and the people of this country to be full, ready and exact, we need to keep the subjects of writing and cursive in our schools.

And I'm gonna leave it at that.


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