07 July 2011

Dis-Cursive

Just now had a discussion with, among others, my friend Cris (she of the infamous Toothgate situation) about Indiana's recent decision to stop teaching cursive writing. Some people are horrified, others seem, frankly, a little relieved. Cris compared it to her (nonexistent) outrage when people switched from fountain pens to Bic pens.

Guess which camp I'm in. Hint: I don't even allow ballpoint pens into my home or office.

Even before I am a teacher, I am a writer. And while I do a good deal of my writing online (I have a blog, of course; I write emails and research papers and some letters online, but only some, and they're to specific people for specific reasons) I still do the bulk of my creative writing by hand. And I've noticed that my writing is different when it's done on a keyboard, as opposed to by hand on a pad or a piece of paper or a journal or notebook. The syntax is different, the flow of ideas is different.

One of the great physical pleasures of my life is writing. I like the way it feels. I like the meeting of pen (yes, fountain) and paper. I like the feeling of moving my hand across the page. Writing is a tactile art form, as much as sculpture. I understand in a way a lot of other people don't how deeply my handwriting conveys my personality. My writing--both the product and the physical presence and shape and, yes, colour of it--is very much who I am.

This grieves me more than I can say. I know it is not rational, but there it is.

3 comments:

canismajorismadre said...

Totally agree with you!!! There is something very organic about a pen and piece of paper! The end of an era, my dear! Sad as that may be.

Tish said...

you make me want to pick up my pen again ♥ thank you for this.

justjacq said...

I love this post. I love handwriting and I love cursive. There is nothing better than opening a fresh notebook... except maybe the crinkly sound of paper that has been written on and well loved.