Chores and Duties... History and Old Stuff... And What I Think About It...
Today I finished filling out a job application I've been dithering over for several days. I'll hand it in tomorrow and wait to see if anything happens. I am not holding my breath.
I had to complete the application by hand, which made me realize how much my penmanship has deteriorated. My writing muscles have grown lazy.
I have a debit card so I don't write many checks anymore. In a month's time, I might address half a dozen envelopes. I have stickers for the return address. Beyond the checks, the envelopes, and the occasional greeting card with a note inside, I just don't write much.
My written communication is done mostly through the keyboard, these days. Even though I'm a member of the generation before the computer kids, I've made the transition. I've crossed over from analog to digital, so to speak.
The handwriting instruction I received in school came from the days of player-pianos and the Gibson Girl. Palmer penmanship was out of vogue in most schools by the 1950's and '60's, but it was still taught at Duff Valley District 4. I was never able to do those long lines of loops and strokes evenly and smoothly.
So you see, I regret that my handwriting is not what it once was and also that it has never been as nice as I wanted it to be.
I think I am my own harshest critic, though. At one job I had, we were always terribly rushed. We scrawled notes to another department in the worst handwriting that you can imagine. One of the girls in that department complimented me one day. "You have such good handwriting," she said. I laughed strangely because she had shocked me so. "No, really," she said. "I can always read it."
My standards may be unrealistically high, thanks to the Palmer Penmanship books of my childhood. It's function over form with handwriting. Legibility is the most important goal. What good would it do to write beautifully if no one could read it?
- Rare Books on Calligraphy, Penmanship and Pen Art which includes Palmer's Penmanship Budget
- Tracing the Roots of Illegible Handwriting
- Inkwells and Fountain Pens (blog entry)