My earliest memories of learning how to write in cursive go back to the second grade. I remember lining up in the classroom, all ready to leave for the day (in an orderly fashion.) Using my lunchbox as an impromptu desk, I took those few moments to practice writing the cursive alphabet. This was 1970 and our second grade curriculum didn’t include practicing our penmanship. I just wanted to learn how to “write like a grown-up.” For years I tried to copy my mother’s impeccable cursive handwriting. It came in handy in instances like signing her name on permissions slips when she had forgotten to do so (or maybe I forgot to give her the note!)
Not everyone’s effort and dedication to writing is the same. If you’re writing to communicate, you need to make it neat. If you’re writing to take notes, you only need to be able to read it yourself. If you’re writing your official signature, consistency is more important the legibility (have you ever been to a loan closing?)
I get it. Children no longer need to learn to read and write in cursive. The use of computers and tablets in the classroom not only replaces the need to know cursive, but competes for available time in the curriculum schedule. So cursive loses. I’m sad that future generations won’t be able to read historical documents, or a grandparent’s journal from the 1970s. And so maybe it will make it easier for someone to steal your identity because you don’t have a unique signature. But that’s already happening, sans paper and pen with digital theft.
Handwriting analysis will still exist, but with less tell-tale loops and disconnected words. The debate goes on (and has been going on for years now.)
I suppose fewer lessons in cursive will mean less anxiety in the classroom and being able to avoid an unpleasant scene like this:
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