A number of my younger friends like to point out that I am out of touch with what is happening today and tend to rely on knowledge of the past rather than trying to live in the present. Of course, I rather enjoy their comments and just smile at the thought of their being accused of the same things a few years hence. I surely hope they will be as proud of their heritage as I am of mine.
One of my favorite subjects about the past is the education we received then. I tend to get a bit excited when I hear about some of the changes--many of which I
merely put down as omissions. For instance, I become a little tense when I find that grammar is sometimes set aside and students are told to pay more attention to what they want to say than to how they should say it.
At such times, I am very thankful for having had excellent English teachers throughout public school years and outstanding English professors throughout college years. They emphasized the importance of correct grammar and caused us to do much work in order to meet their standards.
Recently, I began to gnash my teeth while listening to a news reporter who talked about several school employees throughout the country deciding that a major way to save some money for "something important" would be to cease teaching cursive
writing. After all, children can use the keyboards and not have to learn to put pen or pencil to paper. They don't really need to learn to connect letters to form words and can learn printing only if any kind of hand work should become necessary.
Fortunately, a few people spoke against that idea. One even mentioned that students should learn cursive writing if for no other reason than "to decode The Declaration of Independence."
The idea of having to "decode" any of our handwritten documents caused me to pause while trying to catch my breath. Well, we can but hope the people can read any such documents and can appreciate the efforts put forth in writing those papers. Much research is done by students reading handwritten notes prepared by other scholars. Once, people interested in various subjects were delighted to read those notes so carefully prepared by the scholars of the past.
Many of us are still delighted to receive handwritten letters from friends. I can usually tell about what age the writer is before reading the return address. The clarity of penmanship shows the age. For years, I have observed the difference between the letters written by young writers and those by older ones. More time was spent in teaching penmanship in the past, but even young writers could write legibly. We were also taught that handwritten notes (bread-and-butter notes) should be sent for special occasions. Only recently have typed (processed) notes become acceptable for almost all occasions.
Until age caught up with this woman from lma and a tremor took over, almost all my letters were handwritten. I typed business letters as directed and then picked up my pen to continue with whatever writing needed to be done. For most of my life, I felt that I couldn't think and type at the same time, thus, all writing was done by hand before being typed. Now, all friends are pleased that I don't use the pen very often any more because they would need to "decode" whatever appeared on a page. Let's hope someone will stand up for the handwritten word!
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.