Who journals in cursive penmanship?
The teacher in me smiles when I notice
a young person who writes in cursive script.
The day our pen pal letters arrived from Germany,
was revealing in my German classes.
Many students remarked that the students
in Germany had such beautiful handwriting.
And they wrote using a fountain pen and ink.
Some of my students asked what a fountain
pen was. They used ballpoint pens or pencil.
Cursive writing is good for the brain and improves
fine motor skills. My own note taking in college
involved cursive writing. The skill is one I still
use today from the ordinary shopping lists or
reminder notes. In my early teaching career,
students wrote homework assignments in
cursive. Imagine how surprised I was to learn
that some students no longer learned cursive
writing in elementary grades. From time to time
I am asked to translate from German. Some
want to know what family documents such as birth
certificates mean in English. Anyone who has
ever read a handwritten letter from a grandparent,
knows one must adapt to a particular writing
style. Often, I had to read through and write out
words before getting to word meanings. The art
of translation has been an enjoyable pursuit for
me over the years. There is a sense of satisfaction
at being able to provide the English to a last will
and testament for the lawyer or family member.
Let’s go back to my initial question of who uses
cursive handwriting. I do. I learned how in first
grade in Massachusetts. Our mail carrier who hails
from Jamaica learned it in first grade. She arrived here
in fifth grade. Personally, I find that writing in
cursive allows me to be more creative. My journal
accompanies me to the park for a walk. Also, to
many waiting rooms where I can jot down thoughts,
reflections, or even questions. Handwriting is a
vital life skill. Better than blank staring at screens.