I am so excited about my “Pen and Pencil” initiative which aims to bring back the lost art of cursive handwriting to schools! As a people we have become so caught up in the newest thing–the newest gadget, the newest app, the newest theory of how the brain works…And I have a theory that all of this newishness is actually making us old. We no longer memorize facts because we can look them up on Google, and so now–surprise!–we have lost our memories. What did you have for breakfast three days ago?…See! Your brain is melting! You have Digital Alzheimer’s!…
We ignore the classic traditions such as cursive handwriting, navigating with stars, milling wood into paper–all essential skills. And if one day the lights go out–and one day they will, rest assured!–how will you survive?
Since forcing my students to submit all of their work in longhand cursive I’ve noticed that they spend more time working on projects. Essays that would have taken them 30 minutes to write now take two hours–a net increase of 1.5 hours of thinking about their subject! I do allow students with illegible handwriting to submit work using an MS Word handwriting font but make them type with one pinky finger on their left hand. So much has changed! Yesterday it was so quiet that I started sneaking up on students and screaming in their ears to watch them jump! Just like the old days!
Pens and Pencils