May 13, 2014    Burn Book

Cutting the crap with cursive

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Yes, you read that correctly. If we’re being honest, cursive should’ve been carved out of the curriculum years ago. Teaching something as menial and frustrating as cursive to a class of second graders is a complete waste of time, resources and government funding. Learning how many humps are in an “N” versus an “M” isn’t nearly as important as focusing more on math or science, and doesn’t do anything to further the value of an elementary education. Everything in our present is digital, and if it is not yet, it is definitely heading that way. The need for proper penmanship is just not as pressing as other educational facets.

At least, that’s what 45 states would say.

In my personal opinion, there aren’t many things more beautiful than perfectly crafted lettering. It’s a true art to construct signage where all of the counters are symmetrical enough for clarity, but off center enough for character; or swashes that aren’t ostentatious, but dip low enough below the baseline for an elegant tone; or the perfect balance of serifs and slabs that make your copy convey whatever tone it is you desire, but isn’t overbearing.

So why is cursive seen as an unnecessary annoyance? If hand cramps were an acceptable answer, all forms of cognitive motor skills should be abolished. Why is it that something so beautiful is seen as vexing enough that we should eradicate it altogether?

Some blame the Millennials or Obama for the problems in today’s society, but in reality, it’s us. It’s all the times we complain, complain, complain about how we don’t seem to get our way or somebody doesn’t see a problem the same way we do or even how something just flat out annoys us. So instead of solving for an answer, we eradicate the issue altogether. Our society is in desperate need of a wake up call, and removing something that some see as annoying isn’t cutting it. Take a moment to remember the beauty in something as simple and elementary as cursive handwriting. Stop complaining about your poorly trained muscles and appreciate how beautiful something as simple as an “L” can be.

So forget about your thumb being sore or your wrist rubbing the paper the wrong way. Pick up a pencil, a calligraphy pen or even a piece of chalk and write something down. Use your muscles to create something beautiful that has never been done before, and once you do, be sure to thank your second grade teacher. Cursive gives birth to hand lettering, hand lettering begets creativity, and creativity is something truly beautiful.

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