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The writing on the wall

 

In a world of technological advancement, we naturally look to replace outdated, obsolete traditions with newer ones to make our lives more convenient. 

The typewriter, the telegraph and the icebox each present their own grim stories of how they used to be back in the day. 

The typewriter gave way to the computer, the telegraph became the telephone and the icebox became a refrigerator. 

Something that is of very common use to us may become the next obsolete item in the world: cursive handwriting.

Many schools in the United States are beginning to stop teaching the art of cursive handwriting to elementary-aged children – most recently, the states of Indiana and Hawaii.

The continuous, artful type of writing that we spent hours learning as children is dying very quickly. 

Replacing cursive handwriting in the schools’ curriculum are typing courses that teach children how to type effectively for the evolving, modern world.

In a New York Times’ “face-in-palms” quote of the day in 2009, Carl Brown, principal of Manatee Elementary School in Viera, Fla., said, “With all the other subjects we must teach, we just don’t have the time to spend a lot of effort on cursive.” Brown, like many other educators in the world today, has become inhibited by the ways of the world.

The hustle and bustle of today’s world takes a toll on everyone. 

Specifically in the education sector, legislatures are putting immense pressure on educators to teach our children more. 

Now the story is beginning to fall on our country’s education system as a whole. Instead of trying to teach more to our children, we should keep the workloads to a minimum while teaching children the basics more effectively. 

A “basic” in my book is cursive handwriting.

Think back to when you learned cursive. Flashbacks of the tedious repetition of looping lowercase L’s, dotting lowercase I’s and crossing T’s have me cringing as I type this column. 

Those handwriting tablet books may have seemed miserable at the time, but we can all agree that the time and effort we contributed to those books were completely worth it.

In the latter paragraph, I mentioned that I am typing this column. 

Carl Brown might argue that I am making an illogical point and contradicting myself. 

To Brown and others that support the abolishment of teaching cursive I ask, “How do you receive compensation for your employment?” 

A signed check in cursive handwriting. How do you most effectively personalize a thank you note or card? A note or card written in cursive handwriting. How do banks often verify your identity? A signature in cursive handwriting.

While we are not teaching our children cursive, we should also stop teaching basic math as well. We have computers to replace cursive handwriting, right? 

Essentially, we have calculators to replace basic math skills, too. The fact that people want to do away with cursive handwriting is simply unbelievable to me. It is a timeless art that has been in existence for centuries. 

If anything, the idea seems to be lazy instead of innovative. The idea that my children and grandchildren may not know how to write in cursive completely amazes me.

Once again, the American way of life that we are so accustomed to wins again. 

This time, it’s just plain embarrassing.

 

Adam Ganucheau is a sophomore journalism major from Hazlehurst, Miss. Follow him on Twitter @GanucheauAdam.