Cursive

So, cursive is back in schools. Well, some are going back to it according to an AP article by Karen Mathews.

“Hadn’t been for Grayson, I’d been in Tennessee” Whoops! Wrong song. Hadn’t been for cursive, I’d been higher up, you see.


A little backstory: I missed more school than I attended until I started fourth grade – why I missed is another story. My mother once told me I could read before I started school – don’t remember – it was a long time ago.

I was born left handed and am still left eye dominant. In my generation, in rural North Dakota, being left-handed was not socially acceptable. (There’s more to that, but it’s not the point of this post.)

My memory does not include how I got along in my first three partial years of school, but when I entered fourth grade, I couldn’t write cursive like most who had completed the Palmer Penmanship training in third grade. I’m making a big assumption here – I must have been printing left-handed at the time. Miss. Y smacked my hand with a ruler every time she saw me using my left hand. (I actually do remember her family name, but to protect the guilty or innocent as the case may be.)


Hadn’t been for science, I’d been doomed, you see. For those classes and lab reports, printing was acceptable and preferred. But printing an essay or a report for history was very much not acceptable. Legibility and spelling were as important as content – well, I lost so many points from my unnatural eligible cursive, there weren’t enough content points to get a passing grade. Yet, I knew the difference between a gerund and a connecting verb. I learned to type and turned in a spelling error free, grammatically correct paper to my history teacher. Rejected! “Do over, reports must be in your own hand writing.”

“O, woe is me. To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!” Yep! We read Shakespeare.

Guess I’m rambling again. However, I as much as firmly believe communicating in cursive is a reasonable skill, it should never be used as a measure of intelligence. Nor should the inability to write in cursive trump the quality and accuracy of school work content.

Imagine this: getting a paper back from your history teacher with the comment, “Your Morse is unacceptable, -.. — / — …- . .-. / ..-. — .-. / –… ….. # / -.-. .-. . -.. .. (do over for 75% credit).

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