My parents had beautiful handwriting.
Especially my dad, John.
When he would write, no part of his body touched the page, just the pen. It was both fluent and elegant.
This is where someone stole the apple because it may have dropped close to the tree but it ended up miles away.
My penmanship has a lot to be desired.
Yep, I learned a long time ago that the typewriter, followed by the word processor, followed by the PC computer, followed by the android phone (which actually anticipates what you intend to type) is much mightier than the pen, which we all know is mightier than the sword. (Though maybe not as mighty as the AR-15 rifle.)
Most of you know that both my wife Kathy (second and third grade) and my daughter Robin (first and second grade) are both looping teachers. They teach the same kids two years running.
It has been suggested that kids don’t need to learn cursive writing anymore.
Maybe that is the case.
I am not sure how many years of Latin I took at Abilene High School, but enough to earn a field trip to Kansas City to visit the Nelson Art Gallery and an afternoon on the Plaza.
I think that bona puella means good girl and bonus puer is good boy. Or is it the other way around?
For the last 30 some years I have not spoken a word of Latin. Did I waste my time in Ms. Edberg’s class?
One summer I learned my Roman numerals. (Oops! Did I just give away that I had to go to summer school?)
Once a year that knowledge comes in handy. Super Bowl XLVII is right around the corner and I can tell you for a fact that it is number 47.
A Roman numeral lesson:
Any letter after a number is positive. XII is the same as 12 as in Big XII. Any letter before a number is negative. XXL is 30.
So, L minus X is 40 add V or 5 plus 2 is 47.
Things we remember which do come in handy once a year!
In advertising, CMP refers to cost per mille, and as we all know mille in Latin means thousand, so CMP is referred to as cost per thousand.
On the subject of cursive writing, I asked the two teachers in the family to comment on how the subject is instructed at the two different schools.
“We second grade teachers at McKinley actively, intentionally teach the transition from manuscript to cursive,” Kathy said. “It’s also necessary to teach how to read it, as well as write it. If it’s not practiced, it won’t become natural for students to do and they will revert back to manuscript so I have no control over what is required after they leave me. However, after the transition is complete in second grade, I have the luxury of following through with those same students in third grade since I am a looping teacher.
“A year and a half of cursive writing in my classroom by no means guarantees that it will continue, though. I do have to say that they are excited about learning a new form of writing and do a beautiful job of working on it and THESE are kids that have access to an iPad every single day,” she said.
“Brain research supports teaching handwriting,” she added. “It hones fine motor skills and connects the left and right sides of the brain. Elementary teachers have the task of teaching the whole child. Handwriting is part of that directive.”
In Gladstone, Mo., where students do not have access to iPad instruction, things are a bit different.
“At my specific school cursive writing is not emphasized at all,” said Robin. “In fact, with the new Common Core State Standards, we do not even touch on it in second grade. At Hayden’s school (now 12 years old) which is in the same district, they taught it in third and were expected to write in cursive in all subjects with the exception of spelling tests. He is a middle schooler now and is not required to write in either print or cursive. It’s up to the student.”
Did I waste my time studying Latin and Roman numerals? Guess it’s all up to your opinion. At least you can read my Roman numerals without the need for an interpreter.