It has always been one of my pet peeves, handwriting. In the larger scheme of things it is not that important, but it does have its place.
I excelled in Palmer penmanship while in grade school, possibly because the good sisters stood over us, making us work on the slant of our letters or because I believed I was going to enter the convent and good penmanship was a requirement. Well that never happened, but I do have good penmanship.
We first learned how to hold our pencils correctly — not too tight; let it rest between your fingers so your fingers won’t cramp up. The next step was to get the special lined paper, where your letters had to be perfectly planted on the lower line, although the upper-case Q did dip a bit below the line.
In school, we had penmanship about 15 minutes a day, and I will admit to having some difficulty mastering some letters. The good sisters demanded good penmanship and had no qualms about returning a paper – complete with the note “I don’t read hieroglyphics” — if they felt the words were not legible.
While good penmanship may seem trivial to many, weren’t you a bit concerned when a doctor would write out a prescription that maybe the pharmacist couldn’t read? Did you know your signature is very important? When you go to vote, if it doesn’t match with your signature on your registration, you could be denied the vote. Anyhow, it is your name; you should be proud of it and write it legibly.
I know teachers already have a lot to teach in a day and a requirement to teach cursive is another unfunded mandate. Of course, state lawmakers have bigger things to concern themselves with, but I support this, always have and always will.
So, as we enter the New Year, let us make a resolution to stay on the lines, cross our T’s, dot our I’s and make sure we complete letters and not let them hang, because it will show that you complete things.
You never know who could be reading what you write, and if it is important enough for you to write, it is important to do so legibly.
In my best cursive, if it was possible, I would write to you “Happy New Year, may cursive be with you. Write on!