02-16-2014, 11:07 AM
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The have been a few posts about the death of penmanship training in school.

I asked my wife, a 4th grade special education teacher, about her school's policy. They introduce it the end of 3rd grade. The first month of 4th grade they review a letter a day in cursive. As little as 3 years ago the students were then required to do all work in cursive from that point on. Now at the end of the letter review the penmanship topic is dropped. Students can turn in work that is hand printed, cursive or computer printed. ML says most kids hand print and then in middle school use computer printed.

I remember penmanship from 4th grade. I was 9. I had the most beautiful teacher with brown doe eyes and long blond hair. I was smitten.

Above the blackboards in the front of the classroom was the entire alphabet in upper and lower case cursive. They were on half-ruled lines with arrows showing how to draw them. We worked on penmanship for one period a week.

I am a leftie but not a 'hook handed" writer. I hold the pen and my hand just like a right handed person except I push the pen ahead of my left hand as opposed to drawing it behind one's right hand.

As such my handwriting had a backwards slant not the forward slant of a rightie.

I kept getting "C"s on my penmanship assignments. I did not like this. I did not want my sainted teacher to think less of me. After a month I went up to her desk to ask why I was getting "C"s.

She said it was due to the backward slant of my writing. I explained that this was not fair as I was a left handed writer. My beloved teacher said that did not matter. I said that it did and explained my 9 year old logic -

Righthanded people slant their writing to the right. I was a left handed writer and slanted to the left. A mirror image. She stopped to consider that then flashed me a knee weakening smile and said I was right and she would no longer take points off for that. I barely heard that as I was lost in her smile.

I made it back to my desk with my feet never touching earth!

I did work on the slant but I mostly now write straight up and down.

Funny how a penmanship discussion with my wife triggered such a memory.


7 363
 02-16-2014, 12:17 PM
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Great story, Phil! Biggrin

93 21,373
 02-16-2014, 01:51 PM
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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I can surely relate to that being left handed myself. I had teachers try to convert me to write right handed, even my Dad tried to. I write underhanded also. Great story.

1 3,507
 02-16-2014, 03:12 PM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Phil, that was a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it. Smile

2 5,000
 02-16-2014, 04:04 PM
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I started cursive in 1st grade. I was quite a novelity since I wrote left handed but not hook handed. The sisters gathered around me watching me write. My penmanship was never very good but I had correct posture.

0 7
 02-16-2014, 04:11 PM
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I too am left-handed, and I have always written with my hand hooked around, because otherwise my hand smeared the writing and picked up on its edge the ink or lead. None of my teachers bothered to correct me. And I was in love with my fourth grade teacher and was devastated when she announced to the class that she was getting married.

255 14,775
 02-16-2014, 06:30 PM
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You lads and your crushes! How sweet! Biggrin

93 21,373
 02-17-2014, 01:58 PM
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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you were a lucky guy, Phil.....one of my compadres had his knuckles smacked
bloody by the nuns for a year, to get him to write right-handed !
so now, he writes with BOTH hands ! Biggrin

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