Thursday, July 21, 2016

CIRCA 1943: SOME WANT TO ELIMINATE "CURSIVE!"

Many years ago, Kuser School Custodian and close friend George Scott called me and told me he had been following my many Kuser School columns as had many of the teachers at Kuser. He said he had a very large black trash bag that he was told to dispose of and he thought of me. How grateful I am that he did. In that bag were countless VINTAGE class photos, and other memorabilia from the glorious past of Kuser School. Unfortunately, there are some administrators who are more interested in "tidiness" than they are in preserving precious historical photos and documents. Ironically, I have returned the collection to Principal Roberto Kesting with the promise that they will be saved and preserved for future generations. I am assuming that they are now back in their rightful place in the historical files at Kuser. HOWEVER, there is one that I have opted to keep. It is the one class room instructional poster that I remember quite well. I am hearing the very stupid opinion from some quarters that "cursive" writing is now an unnecessary subject to cover in today's society with the advent of the computer and its ability to communicate via the written word replete with "spell checking." What an idiotic observation! Hand writing was near the top of the list for those of us who attended grammar school in the first half of the 20th century. I remember how we were instructed to sit up straight at our desk, feet planted firmly on the floor, and to assume the posture of the students in the photo. Summoning all the humility in my power, I am proud to say that my handwriting at the age of 82 is every bit as good as it was when I was a student. Indeed, my handwriting ability has even led to a number of folks requesting that I calligraphically label wedding name tags. (No, I no longer do that service.) I remember when there was a class known as "PENMANSHIP;" which we all were subjected to. I also remember that constant use of the pencil and later the "straight pen" left a physical "bump" on our middle finger from extensive use of our writing tools. No need to ask me my opinion on "Common Core." I prefer the antiquated disciplined and work hard ethic of learning taught by teachers whose hand writing was beyond splendid.

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