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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Cursives! Foiled again!

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/16/17

Is penmanship making a comeback?  Check this out:

Cursive handwriting instruction is returning to elementary school classrooms in New York City.

Schools chancellor Carmen Fariña has committed to include cursive writing in third-grade curriculum in city schools, according to Staten Island assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who has advocated for cursive instruction. Many schools have already started implementing the curriculum.

The assemblywoman said it’s important for young people to “know how to write a signature of their own to identify themselves, and have the ability to sign a legal document, check, or voter registration form.”

“Without knowing how to read script, students can’t even read historic documents like the Declaration of Independence,” she said in a statement Wednesday.

Read on.Some time back, The Anchoress took pen in hand to rant:

Cursive writing helps to expedite our thoughts to paper, before we lose them! It’s individualistic! It is “what grown-ups do.” I’m just disgusted to learn that it’s not even taught anymore. I wonder if college professors must now print their lessons on white boards? What happens when a message in a bottle is found, or an old love letter? Will they be like hieroglyphics for the next generation?

And I noted myself:

I’m not exactly the best at penmanship myself—too many years of banging my fingers on the keyboard have made me jittery and impatient with my own hand—but I admire people like my beloved 4th grade teacher, Sister Matthew Christi, a fresh-faced young nun who wore rimless glasses and an easy smile and wrote the most elegant words on a blackboard in chalk.   We still keep in touch; she came to my ordination.  And every Christmas, I look forward to a card with sweeping, almost breathtakingly pure penmanship that bespeaks another time, a time before pixels and megabytes and digital fonts clicked from a menu. For those who still care about those things, you’ll be happy to know the Palmer Method—the one many of us learned in Catholic school—lives on. Even in the digital age. You can check out this website, which explains its history and execution, and guides you exercises so you can teach yourself the lost art of perfect Palmer penmanship.

There is hope for us all!

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