Friday, June 9, 2017

Beginning to Write
I can remember in kindergarten of my attempts to write. They had thick blue pencils that I could almost rest on my shoulder as I began to print my numbers and letters. They must have thought the pencils were heavy enough, because there were no erasers. Perhaps they knew that in erasing and trying to correct mistakes, I would wear holes in the paper.
Now, let me get to the paper. It was coarse and off colored white, having lines of blue drawn on it to keep my lines straight, as well as knowing the height and depth of these English hieroglyphics. The teachers pressed me to learn to make them just so. This task is difficult for a five year old learning the fine art of writing and the fine motor skills needed with the log of a pencil. The paper was of the lowest quality and frequently I would have to write around chunks of tree bark or large splinters.
That mastered, I was required to learn cursive. Cursive was wonderful. The flow and the beauty of the written word made me ecstatic. It was so less cumbersome and slow than printing block letters. I don’t understand why schools want to eliminate this necessary skill. If I lost the ability to read cursive, how could I read the documents of great men of the past? Anyone could put words on a printed page and say this is what our founding fathers said. They are already twisting the meanings and if I can’t read cursive, I wouldn’t know.
My grandfather’s cursive writing was a true delight to behold, although I must say his writing as a squire and justice of the peace was much more flowery than his writing in his accounting books. I didn’t inherit that elegant skill from him. My writing, especially in high school was much more pinched and small, I was always frugal at least that is what I tell myself.

So, letters became words, words became sentences, sentences became paragraphs, paragraphs became stories, and stories became books.

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