I Still Use My Cursive Skills by
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In third grade, I was taught cursive letters and for writing.  I was in Bellevue Washington, where some of the cursive letters they used included modified print letters.  For example, the capital “Q” was basically printed, instead of looking like a question mark.  Another letter that was printed was capital “S”.  However, most letters were in the standard cursive script.

My journey from cursive to typing while keeping a little cursive writing skills.

In the middle of fourth grade, I moved to Los Angeles.  Of course, they used the standard cursive script letters.  While I made to switch to the standard cursive letters, I did occasionally revert to the modified Bellevue script.  It is a habit that still happens.  Fortunately, I never got marked down when I used the modified script.

Off to college, and I still wrote my papers in cursive script.  Since most of my classes were in the sciences, this was not a problem.  Occasionally, if a wrote a major paper, it was typed by another student and I paid for their efforts.  In my senior year, my roommate said his raised the grade of his papers by “B” to “A” by typing his papers, and doubling their length by citing more sources and examples to support the paper’s idea.  Maybe it’s time to learn typing?

I went off the pharmaceutical industry, and initially I worked in various laboratories.  Observations in lab books was printed, especially since they were legal documents.  Later, I had a office job writing test methods and procedures.  It was before personal computers were wide spread, and I had a secretary type the final drafts.  I made certain that my cursive writing was clear so she could read and type it without errors and questions.

Then, unemployment hit.  I had started taking a few computer classes, and typing was required. In addition, I loaded a game on the computer that taught typing skills.  A letter would appear on the screen, and you had a limited amount of time to type it on your keyboard.  As one advanced, more letters appeared and the time got shorter. I finally got good at typing.

My next job, in the aerospace industry, and there were computers everywhere.  Very little was done without a computer.  I arrived there in 1988, and for a group of approximately 80, there were four clerks/secretaries.  When I retired in 2015, the group was about 40, but there no clerks/secretaries.  Quite a big change due to computers and word processors.

I still use cursive today when I write the occasional letter, and occasionally I get a letter in cursive script.  The exception is when I write my granddaughter, since she is only five years old and  I don’t think she will learn cursive writing skills. My biggest reason I like script is it is fast, and I do not always use a computer, phone or tablet to record notes to myself or others.  Also, cursive script adds a personal touch to a letter.  I know it will slowly fade away, and that is too bad.  After all, America’s Declaration of Independence is in cursive script.

Profile photo of Joe Lowry Joe Lowry
I was a child that moved so often, (8 elementary/middle schools) and finally went to to high school in Arroyo Grande California. I ended up at San Jose State University graduating in Chemistry, minor in Biology. Got married, and had two sons. Unfortunately, my wife passed 35 years later. I worked initially in the pharmaceutical industry. After being down-sized, I ended up in the aerospace field, working on satellites. I still live in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Characterizations: funny, well written

Comments

  1. Love your reference to the Declaration of Independence Joe, and they wrote it all with a quill!

  2. Marian says:

    I like this recap of all the issues with cursive, Joe, and your experience with writing and computers over the years. It is very unlikely, as you note, that your granddaughter will read or write cursive. Wish my school had the Bellevue script–that seems a lot better. Your experience with lab books in science resonates with me because in my career I was a document approver in a regulated industry. Any marks had to be hand written in a certain way, and even the ink color was regulated. By then I’d developed my hybrid system and it passed muster.

  3. Even though the writing is on the wall, so to speak, it’s hard to imagine cursive disappearing completely. You hit the nail on the head when you said it adds a personal touch to a letter. Maybe it will become something increasingly special, something to be treasured, and as such will never die. We’ve had some good stories on this thought-provoking prompt — thanks for adding yours, Joe!

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    I agree Joe. Cursive is on the way out, especially for our grandkids. Still, it would be nice if they could read the Declaration of Independence in cursive script.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    Interesting that you were taught a slight variation with the capital letters originally, but adapted with your move to LA. You’ve given us a comprehensive look back over your move from cursive to typing and back and good reasons why. I agree, the next generation probably won’t be taught it and that will be sad.

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