Sunday, February 19, 2017

A rantish revelation about handwriting; the cards weigh in

No wonder no one writes by hand anymore! How did I not see this earlier? Duh!

February is International Correspondence Writing Month (aka InCoWriMo) and I've been working on my handwriting. Resurrecting some rusty Italic calligraphy, and trying for cursive writing that doesn't make me curse.
It all looks like crap.

You may have heard that the teaching of cursive ("joined together writing", as one of my granddaughters calls it) has been cut from the curriculum in many schoolboards. Time constraints is given as a reason. Outmoded means of communication is another. In other words, we don't need it because we're too busy typing on keyboards.
There is incoming evidence, gleaned from studying which areas of the brain are activated when a person is writing in cursive, that some crucial connections can only be made by physical writing. Kind of like crawling is to walking. I don't know where this educational dispute will end up. BUT...

People say that they don't write by hand because their writing is bad. So there's a vicious circle set up because good writing takes practice, and no one is practising because they're typing on their devices. (And of course, with cursive not being taught in schools, and there being less and less emphasis on penmanship, this situation will only go from bad to worse.)

But that's not the revelation. It's this:

On the computer we can access hundreds of fonts, sizes, colours, arrangements, borders, drawings, and designs in an instant. Just click a key and voila!
So no wonder we don't like our own writing, even if we practice and practice. Nothing quite stacks up to the perfection of the computer's consistently instantly perfectly formed lettering. And this incredibly fast perfection is what we've become used to. Anything else seems erratic, slow, and ugly.

What does this week's card have to say about this?
The Seven of Pentacles popped up. I feel a little lecture about my work ethic coming...

So you want to be the Big Cheese of Penmanship, eh?
Vikings Tarot

Well, you'll need to pour a lot of ink onto paper if you want your writing capabilities to grow.
Modern Spellcaster's Tarot

Learn how to heft a pen correctly. Pick one that fits your hand.
Golden Botticelli Tarot (by the way, this deck is SPECTACULAR in person!)

Use a firm grip, but don't pinch.
Deirdre of the Sorrows Tarot

Bringing a new skill to fruition takes time and patience and perseverance.
Tarot Mucha

You want to be good at this? Aim high.
Minoan Tarot

And start practising!

In one of life's delicious coincidences, I was laboriously carving out letters and watching Anna Olson make crackers from scratch, and she said, and I quote:
"I'm making them intentionally not too perfect because I don't want them to look like they came out of a box."

So when my penmanship looks less than perfect it's because I don't want anyone to think I did it on a computer. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.