When I was in high school in 1993 I had an English Teacher who thought that using pen and paper was very important, and that young people were at risk of losing such a tradition. Looking back these 18 years I would agree with him. BUT, I absolutely question the relevance of the tradition. I’ll give you my reasons in a minute. But first let me point out what brought this to my attention:
Cursive Writing Questioned in Indiana
The Indiana Department of Education lets individual schools decide whether or not to teaching cursive or stop it altogether. That means this fall, in 3rd and 4th grades around Indianapolis, I-70Exit 149A, and outside of Chicago, 9 year-olds will be freed from the bane of this skill!
What’s the Point of Cursive Script Writing?
I sign my name in cursive. My husband scribbles his, and my children are scared of it! Schools that decide to drop cursive writing, may teach children to type instead. Others might push for more time doing things like, oh, I don’t know, Math and Science. The skill of cursive writing has become outdated and archaic- a little more so than how to start a fire with flint, or how to make your own soap.
- Cursive is great for writing letters- which no longer happens.
- Cursive writing is great for writing term papers, which has been replaced with Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V a.la. Wikipedia.
- Cursive writing Speeds up writing in general – which, again doesnt happen anymore.
- Cursive writing makes for great looking fonts on wedding invitations (yes, but you don’t write it!
I am all for dropping this requirement for our children. And come 2 years when Elijah sees this coming up – I’ll probably make some noise.
How will Children in the 21st Century Sign Their Name?
Obviously, in all this, the elephant in the room here is the fact that children will not learn the basic skills on how to scribble out their signature when they start signing for credit cards, houses, checks, and anywhere else. So what will they do? I think teenagers will adopt a number of methods and create new methods:
- Sign their name in sloppy block lettering by running letters together
- Utilize sumbols in their block letter names like the Artist who once was and now again is named ‘Prince’
- Switch completely to online signatures i.e. from Adobe Acrobat
- Utlize Silly Shortenings, like
OK. So I made a point about Ben Affleck’s views in the beginning of this post. It’s just something I made up – just because its meaningless. Sorry Ben!