So now I read that 41 states now are not requiring students to learn cursive writing to progress in school. It is not included in the No Child Left Behind Common Core States Standards for English. Keyboarding techniques are taught in the primary grades as the standard. Which I get, but....
This has left me with mixed feelings, leaning on the side of lamentation.
How many of us remember third grade: the smell of sharpened pencils and the sound of scratching on newsprint, our teachers encouraging us to stay within the lines. I do---and I'm glad I endured what was, at the time, grueling Palmer discipline for an 8 year-old. It was a graduation of sorts, from immature printing to grown-up writing. It was supposed to allow us to write faster-- not having to lift the pencil or pen for each letter--enabling us to conquer those future essay tests within our limited classtime. We would sign our signature on hundreds of documents, checks and contracts in our adult life. We evolved right there, on paper, Ticonderoga in hand. Is there just no time for this anymore? In the third grade? Really?
I love seeing beautiful writing--writing someone has taken time and care to put down on paper. The beautiful sweeping capital letters, the flow from one letter to another. Some women I know--and a few men, my Dad included--have elegant, distinctive cursive writing which you can tell is a result of disciplined learning. It took time to learn and there was pride in accomplishment.
But these fine examples are going by the wayside. I'm afraid the Boomers may be the last Palmer devotees. My daughters boast their ball-and-stick D'Nealian writing methods, one even preens, "I love my all-caps printing...it's cute!" Others among their peers state they've printed all their lives and got all A's. What's the big deal?
I could get really cynical and project that one day we'll devolve to the point of not needing writing at all. We'll just circle back to cave writing with pictures. But I do try and keep an open mind. I know we are living in a technological age, and you need to get on board or get out of the way.
But, please, write me a lovely cursive note sometime. Just to show me it's still out there somewhere besides the national archives.