Monday, April 18, 2011

Pride in Penmanship

                                                                                                 Julie Kemp Pick

With the advent of computers and text-messaging people spend less time writing long-hand. I think my kids went from printing to typing to texting, spending little time if any on cursive writing. I remember them briefly tracing cursive letters in writing workbooks, but then it was back to printing again.

My great aunt had beautiful penmanship that she took great pride in. As a young girl, my grandmother encouraged me to call and thank her for sending me Birthday cards that were filled with exquisite calligraphy. Each year I was hoping she'd find a way to stuff a Barbie outfit into that envelope, but called her anyway. She continued to write beautifully with a steady hand throughout her 80's, and even addressed envelopes for my wedding shower. My grandmother also possessed perfect penmanship, but she preferred her older sister's. That talent was not passed on to me.

As a lefty, I always struggled with my handwriting. Whenever I had to write papers on warm days in school, the ink would smear on the paper, and my hands would turn blue. I don't know who was more excited when my parents bought me a portable electric typewriter. Actually, I think my teachers were.

Poor penmanship has plagued me my entire life. I remember my younger son was accused of forging my signature in grammar school when he brought a note asking to be dismissed early for a dental appointment. His fourth grade teacher thought that the note was written in his chicken scratch. Then my son was quick to point out that there were no spelling mistakes in the letter; another great rescue.  

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  1. I could remember as a child we always had to write thankyou letters when christmas and birthdays came and went. Today even with todays text messages and emails many people I send to don't acknowledge, where have good manners and politeness gone?

  2. Oh yes, a few days after any event, Christmas/birthdays etc.... out would come the note paper and the envelopes and the address book. The rule was that there had to be at least three sentences and mom had to be able to read what I wrote. Good training. Whenever I receive a gift I still automatically reach for the note paper. Thanks mom.
    Penmanship is a funny thing. I start out with the most beautiful level script and then my mind takes over and races ahead of the pen and by the end of the page I can't read it myself. Thank goodness for computers.

  3. I am left handed too. Oh gosh the times I came home from school with my hand all blue from ink *rolls eyes at self*

    My handwriting is horrible now, and I am so grateful that I can type. The only thing I do write longhand mostly is poetry. Somehow it flows better when it is pen to paper. I only have to remember to let my husband read it after it's typed out, to keep the "huh? what word did you write here?" at bay :D

    I am a new follower by the way, from the A to Z challenge :)

    I also leave you with an award, as I see you can use one! I give you the one lovely blog award. You can pick it up here:

  4. LOL - my hand written chicken scratch often has spelling errors (especially in this country with some of its odd spellings). Good thing I homeschool, so we don't need notes.

  5. I think penmanship is a dying art.

  6. Hehehe I love cursive, but I lost practice in highschool because the teachers insisted that we print.

    My handwriting is slap-dash at best, regardless of whether I try my hand at longhand.

  7. Oh gosh, I can relate. My handwriting has always been awful! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one...

  8. My handwriting is getting steadily worse since I do everything on the computer, it's kind of weird how you get out of practice. When I have to write an address on an envelope, I have to print or it's hardly legible. I've never had good handwriting, but now it's crazy.

    I laughed about wishing for a Barbie outfit in the envelope, cute! :)

  9. @Yvonne - That's a very good question!

    @mybabyjohn - That's why I usually just pick up the phone, and save on paper.

    @Sylvia - Welcome and thank you so much for following me! I also want to thank you for the lovely award! I look forward to visiting you!

    @B's Mom - Thanks for visiting and I totally agree!

    @Rhonda - It's amazing that you have the time and energy to homeschool! What a wonderful mother you are!

    @Misha - Fortunately, it's easier to type or text anyway, so it's not as big of a deal now as it was growing up. Thanks for visiting!

    @Talli - I know you have no flaws. You're just trying to make me feel better!

    @Julie - Thanks Julie! Maybe it's just that we lose patience with writing things out.

  10. I miss writing and receiving letters, but I don't miss paying the postage. :)

  11. Many thanks for your most welcomed comment.

  12. People don't write letters like they used to. My hands don't work as I'd like them to these days so the computer keyboard is an easy kop out Julie. But there's nothing like a beautifully penned piece.


  13. I could have been a doctor if illegible handwriting were the only requirement. Thankgoodness for typewriters and keyboards. Nice to meet an empty-nester. I was one for about a year. Now the nest if full again and I write humor because of it. The Medicare Mom.

  14. I used to pride myself on my neat handwriting. Since the mid-70's I essentially stopped using cursive much. When I composed something by hand I started printing. Now I keyboard just about everything. My handwriting and printing both have suffered as a result.

    Tossing It Out
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  15. I'm left-handed but have pretty nice penmanship. My mom worked with me like crazy to make sure I didn't write like normal lefties. I rarely got ink smears on my hand.

    I hear schools are phasing out cursive as part of the curriculum. I find that unfortunate.

  16. @Amy - I still send out Birthday cards or Thank you notes once in a while, but not like I used to. You're right, the postage does add up!

    @Jody - Welcome and thanks for visiting me! I look forward to visiting you as well!

    @Bluestocking Mum - I admire all that you're doing and would never say you were a "kop out."

    @Lee - I suppose when you're so used to keyboarding, you just don't spend the time on handwriting. It all works out in the end as adults. Thanks for stopping by!

    @Karen - It's great that your mom spent the extra time with you! I know some other lefties who also have lovely handwriting. Thanks for visiting me and I will try to do the same! Julie

  17. I used to have great penmanship until computers came along. I am also left handed and was taught to write correctly by catholic nuns. But that was not their idea. They wanted to force me to write with my right hand. My mom set them straight. Said God made me left handed and they shouldn't mess with that. They should teach me proper form using my left hand which they did. Most people can't tell my handedness from my writing and my form is the mirror image of a righty.

  18. Elaine - I like that your mom stood up for you. No wonder you turned out to be such a caring and devoted daughter! Julie