Monday, November 5, 2012

X marks the spot

Who can still write like this?
Apparently writing in cursive is starting to be a lost art. Do the children even know what cursive is anymore? The other day one of my students was signing a form, and I had to say, "What is that?" when I saw her signature. It wasn't like a doctor's signature, which is usually unreadable. Instead it looked like a first grader's attempt at writing in cursive. My best friend, who is a teacher, says students aren't taught penmanship anymore. Then what are they teaching the children? Testing?

I still remember when I first learned how to write in cursive. It was during third grade, and our school supply list required parents to buy what we used to call cornbread paper (that tan colored, rough textured paper with lines.) We were given a sheet with all the cursive letters and had to practice writing them every day. There was even a test to make sure we knew how to write the cursive letters correctly. Cursive Fs, Qs and Zs would always give me trouble.

Eventually I mastered (in my opinion) the skill of writing in cursive. I've always wanted to write a book and figured I would need to practice signing them for my fans. Sure I didn't use it that often, and yes my letters deviated from what official cursive looks like. But I could still read and write in cursive. Such is not the case for the children of today. They can't read or write in cursive. How are they going to sign their names? Today it's cursive. Tomorrow it will be print. Soon we'll see the children signed their names with simply the letter X.

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