The Lost Art of Hand Writing?


How many of you are aware that cursive writing is no longer being taught in schools here in British Columbia?
I am not certain when they began to phase this out of the public school system but I have spoken with teachers recently that  have stated sadly their Grade 9 and 10 students didn’t know how to read their handwritten notes on the chalk board.
I am devastated that soon a generation is going to graduate from school never being taught the art of handwriting.  Furthermore, they don’t know and won’t know how to read the script.
There is insurmountable evidence of what happens in the right side of the brain regarding the correlation between the scientific and creative synapsis of our grey matter and the importance this plays to our development.
We are robbing our children.  When did technology become the master?  Computers are a tool…nothing more, yet in a very short period of time they have infiltrated every aspect of our lives.  I believe that computers should not be in elementary schools, that students should learn how read and write in the tried and true tradition that we were blessed with.
Being a writer, the majority of my ideas are developed through the process of what I affectionately term ‘the emotional write’.  This is pen to paper and just letting the idea pour onto the page.  I move into the zone and I cannot describe the sensation that occurs as I am often not even aware of what I am writing until I have finished it.  Yes, it is often crude and choppy but always I am blown away by the process and it is also extremely liberating.
I am deeply saddened that a generation will never know the joy, the pain the euphoria, the loneliness…all the rich emotions and creative dynamics that come with writing.  And I can’t help but wonder what the trade off will be?
I saw some statistics regarding the exposure of iPads to those under the age of 2 years.  It is dramatically high.  Yesterday while at a local diner with my daughter a small girl, likely no more than two had a computer set up for her flashing images of animals and shapes while the parents chatted with each other.
It struck me as being exclusionary.  They wanted to keep the child ‘busy’ so that they wouldn’t have to fuss over her.  Yet is there not importance in interacting with your child in a public place?  Shouldn’t the child be initiated into family gatherings of this type as a participant?
Oddly enough while communications seemingly make us appear continually connected, I am witnessing an isolation creeping into the human experience of mammoth proportions.
Tables of teenagers will sit in café texting one another.  People walk down the street glued to their iPhones.  Dating is now done online.  God help you if you’re not photogenic.
If I were to post a current image of myself with no hair, no lashes or brows would anyone perusing the site see the beauty that truly resides in my being?  Would they see my strength, my vulnerability?
I took my profile down over a year ago.  It seemed that I continually saw the same faces up there and decided that I really didn’t quite know how to do the online thing.
In any case I do know that in the last 25 years the technological changes that have occurred in our world have been moving at light-speed.  Yet, in so many ways, we haven’t changed at all.
Poverty, racism and war still exist.  I still see several ads each evening for children who are starving in what we term ‘3rd world countries’.  For the record it is all one world.  Yet we power ahead not even taking into consideration the cause and effect of removing something such a cursive writing from the classroom.  Somehow that has become too inconvenient and time consuming to teach.
It’s value now deemed unworthy.
And what will be left when we’ve raped this planet of all her resources to feed this insatiable hunger for what, I don’t know.
Education is one of the greatest gifts that can be given to a child.  Sadly, we now have people deciding what they should learn rather than giving them skills to decide that for themselves as they grow.
And that is what is being lost here.
Today I grieve.
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