Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The death of cursive and the dumbing down of generations

I may have written about this before so hang in there if it seems familiar.

Cursive. What would I do without you? I write out all my manuscripts in longhand cursive on yellow or white legal pads with ink pens or no. 2 pencils. I like that I don't need to sit in front of a radiation-emitting monitor for hours waiting for inspiration to hit. I create wherever I want, whenever I want without benefit of a charged iPad or tablet. And I don't need an electrical outlet to write.


Because I know cursive! Block printing is for babies. I love the loops, squiggles and curlicues of cursive that I learned waaaay back in grade school. It was called penmanship and you practiced everyday until you got it right. I was so proud to be able to sign my name like the grown ups and not print like the babies. Plus, I went to Catholic grade school so the education was top notch then. And free. That's another post for another time though. Anyway, the very distressing thing is that public school systems across the U. S. are doing away with cursive handwriting instruction in their curricula. Are we returning to signing crap with an 'X' or leaving your thumbprint on a piece of paper. Sounds very slave- and indentured servant-like to me.

A prime example of the concept at work (or not working) was during the Zimmerman trial. Witness Rachel Jentel shocked viewers by saying that she did not know cursive. Me, I was shocked that she had come through a school system that NO LONGER TAUGHT cursive. That was shocking, clutch-the-pearls time to me. Sad. Whole generations and classes of people reduced to block printing who can use a computer and watch videos and will be able to ask you, "Would you like fries with that?"  Yes, I said it.

Cursive not important anymore? Yeah right. If I were a parent of a kid who attended a school where cursive was no longer taught I'd worry. I'd worry because I bet you dollars to doughnuts that prep schools, private schools, charter schools, schools full of rich kids and schools run by religions and any school with sense are still teaching cursive. Always remember: Your kid will be competing with those kids (for jobs, college) from a disadvantaged place. Your kid will be in the starting block with a deficit! So you ask what can you do if your kid goes to one of  those sub-par, no-cursive-taught-here, no-teaching-anything-important babysitting services called a school? I say start a cursive learning class in your neighborhood on your own. Parents could pool money and hire a tutor. Or get really drastic and put your kids in a school where cursive is still taught. It's their future.

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