I’m gonna actually answer the daily prompt, which asks: When was the last time you wrote something by hand? What was it? Well, the last thing I wrote by hand was on the dry erase board, and it’s been erased, but there’s this little tidbit sitting next to me, so I’ll share it:
I’ll leave y’all to figure out what it is. I know what it is because I spent a lot of time checking and rechecking the numbers and letters because they didn’t seem to be working the way they were supposed to be working… but that’s neither here nor there. The writing is awful because I wrote it in a hurry, while frustrated, and trying to do something else at the same time. But it’s almost legible.
I actually write things by hand a lot. I have scads of notebooks all over the place. I write things down so I’ll remember them better later. The act of writing helps me remember them (sometimes). It worked in college. It hurts like hell, but it’s also soothing to my brain. Here’s a sample of a notebook where I write sayings I find interesting. Note that the legibility varies. There are a lot of variables that contribute to that… pain level, writing surface (knee, desk, cat…), energy level, time of day, can I see the stupid paper? All kinds of things. I prefer to write so I can read it later, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
Notice also that my writing style is a combination of cursive and print. That’s because I learned cursive and preferred print. But cursive is way faster than print. Also, I learned calligraphy as a young kid and loved doing it. I used to make all of my own Christmas cards and worked hours on each one every year. No one appreciated the time I spent making them though, so I stopped. It’s not easy, writing in ink and doing it so that there are no mistakes. Look at that page – hardly a sentence without a mistake. Now take expensive inks and paper and try to do it without a mistake. You can’t erase ink! You have to start over with fresh paper or send out cards with mistakes. My mind just wouldn’t let me send out cards with mistakes. I can hardly post this picture with its mistakes, but I’m older now. I know that people make mistakes. And others just have to accept the fact that I do, indeed, make mistakes.
So anyway, my handwriting used to be better before the arthritis set in. The hurt rotator cuff in my shoulder doesn’t help. But I keep writing by hand because I think it helps to keep my fingers, wrists and other parts of my arm from stiffening up. It’s the same reason why I still crochet and knit even though both of those hurt too. I can’t stop doing something just because it hurts. I mean, sure if it really starts to hurt, I’ll stop, but a little ache shouldn’t stop me, because I don’t want my joints and muscles to get worse from non-use. So, to answer the prompt… I write every day. It may not be dissertations, but I do write by hand all of the time.
I read somewhere that kids aren’t learning cursive anymore. I don’t think it’s necessary that they learn to write it if they don’t want to, but they should learn to read it at least. Because if they don’t… they won’t be able to read historical documents… and that would be sad indeed. Because as I told a student of mine whom I was teaching to read as an adult: If you cannot read the original text, how will you know if someone is conning you or not? He wanted to be an actor and I was trying to express how important it was that he be able to read, and understand, his contracts. If children aren’t learning how to read cursive or handwritten documents, how will they ever be able to read this: