Once upon a handwriting

I use to have beautiful handwriting. I’m not boasting here, because there’s nothing worth boasting now. But lets rewind, say, thirteen years back.

Primary 3. I’m sitting in a classroom, diligently copying down each word the teacher is scribbling on the blackboard. With every stroke of the white chalk against the board, a beautiful mess of smoke is created. Clearly the dust storm that’s made is bad for your health, but the teachers, unknowingly or knowingly, braved it so that we could spend the time writing it all down.

I don’t know about you, but I enjoyed these moments. I don’t mean to say that I enjoyed watching the dust pose a hazardous risk to the teacher’s respiratory system; I mean the fact that we were literally writing.

Unfortunately for today’s children there’s very little opportunity to experience the blissfulness of just writing down word-for-word without much thought. Today it’s all about getting photocopies of black and white paragraphs of texts on a piece of paper. Writing down everything is now considered a waste of time, or “boring”, as many little prince and princesses of today’s time would call it.

Back in those days, we had the time of creating fine art on a sheet of paper. We had handwriting class, at least my primary school did, and we were honorably awarded a “pen license” in front of an audience on Friday assemblies once we mastered cursive.

It was seriously a bloody big deal. Those writing with pens were royalties (at least to me, you know because cursive looked just that), while those peasants, whom obviously had fugly handwriting, had to stick to pencils!

Now thirteen years later, I’m scribbling bits and pieces of jumbled up, chaotic mess. I’d like to use the term “cluster fuck” here, a term that my friend frequently uses to describe traffic jam. My penmanship is just that. On really bad days, I don’t even know what I wrote. Every letter use to flow nicely onto the next at complete ease and now, I have to try extra hard to keep it legible.

But it’s not just me. A group of girlfriends and I were talking about how our handwritings have changed for the worse. One calls her penmanship “chicken shit now”, while another was asked by a patient, “if medical school has a course on how to write illegibly”.

I don’t blame myself for the death of my handwriting. There’s just no time for beautiful calligraphy in this world. Plus we live in an electronic age where everything is virtually online. We literally type not write.

Wasn’t there a saying, that the way we write indicates the person’s personality trait? I wonder how that is possibly correct if the way we write changed. Does that mean our personalities did too? To me that idea belongs in a pile of cow poop and urine.

Well here’s a note to my future kid (if I ever have one, that is).

Dear future kid,

Your mama believes that you should have beautiful handwriting at least for a period in your lifetime. Thus, as a way to fulfill my dream, one type of punishment for misbehaving will be kicking it old school and “writing lines” at least 100 times. And, if it is completed without affection, I shall listen to the devil inside me who screams a thousand times! Happy writing till your hands bleed!



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