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Cursive Curse

When I was in third grade my handwriting was very bad. Our teacher used to have the class watch a show called “Cursive Handwriting”.


This show was not wacky, fun or featuring hip teenagers.

It was nothing more than a lady (Virginia Henderson) who sat at a desk or stood by a chalk board and wrote cursive letters; sometimes she would mix it up, and write the letters with an electronic stylus like the kind they use for football play diagrams.




My class would watch this show on video. The theme song was just an instrumental. The class would really get into the song. They would “orchestrate” the theme song with their pencils. I had already seen this show years before when I was in the third grade. It would be on during those educational programming blocks. I think I watched it before I learned how to write.


The problem I had with this show was that the lady’s handwriting was hard to replicate. As hard as I tried I could never get it just right.

 

After the class watched the show we would have to practice the letters as homework.

 

During winter break the teacher gave me a packet to practice my handwriting. I was so embarrassed. The new transfer student and I and were the only people in the class who received one. I was a very strange and lazy child, and I would only practice the letters in my name. I’d think “z” there are no “z’s” in my name why should I practice it? The funny thing is I forgot about my middle name, and didn’t bother practicing the letters in that name that weren’t already in my first and last name. I hardly ever use my middle name anyway; only when I sign legal documents and stuff. I would also practice my signature. It took me years to perfect it. At first I had a hard time writing it because my first and last names are so long. After looking at some celebrities signatures I learned how to write my long name small and quickly. I wasn’t proficient at this until I was in junior high.

 

This is my best cursive as an adult. I hardly use it anymore since my handwriting is pretty illegible

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DirtyD79 Posted on Nov 18, 2015 at 06:38 AM

I too had to learn cursive back in third grade. Ironically I was much better at writing in cursive than I was at printing. I'm not trying to brag. Believe me, my printing was atrocious as a kid and it's only slightly better all these years later. Nowadays the only time I really need to write in cursive is if I'm signing some forms or something. Honestly I'd be surprised if any elementary schools still teach it these days.

Benjanime Posted on Nov 18, 2015 at 01:21 AM

cursive writing was one of the many kryptonites of my education, right there with algebra and geography. i can level with you on how tricky it became to learn, some of the letters looked more like scribbles compared to print letters.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Nov 17, 2015 at 04:29 AM

Same here. They taught it in elementary school up until sixth grade. After sixth grade they stopped caring.

pikachulover Posted on Nov 17, 2015 at 03:57 AM

From grades 3rd-5th we had to use cursive and I sucked at it in all those grades. By 6th grade the teachers stopped caring and just wanted legible work.

I also have an illegible signature. I don't do that cute girly writing.

Strangely enough the mention of not teaching cursive in schools came up during a John Cena interview I saw 9 years ago when he was promoting his movie The Marine. And for the record he knows how to write in cursive.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Nov 16, 2015 at 08:09 PM

Welcome to my world pikachulover. I've always had bad penmanship, and I have never learned cursive, not even to sign my name. I simply print.

This summer I had to get an ID done at the DMV. When I printed my name, the guy behind the desk asked me why. I told him I never learned cursive, and then explained that they eventually stopped teaching it in school. He was amazed that they no longer teach cursive.

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 16, 2015 at 03:13 PM

Don't feel bad. I felt the same way. When my teacher in grade school would execute a perfect letter on the chalkboard (after first using one of those chalkholders that would draw three lines together on the board, equally separated), I would just get fed up that I couldn't replicate her perfection on a piece of paper.

Like you, I never used cursive for anything but signing my name, and even then it's been reduced to illegible doctor's signature style. Even so, I think it's a shame that we are slowly doing away with teaching cursive. Something about it seems culturally significant to me, though I'm not sure why.

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