Friday, February 9, 2007


I know that Shaughnessy only wrote three pages on handwriting, but I was just going over the chapters we read in order to do the blog and I just don't feel like Shaughnessy should have added that section in to her book. I don't know how handwriting relates to the writing practices of a basic writer.
Shaughnessy wrote that "...poor handwriting of the sort I have been describing is not so much a cause of badwriting as an indication that the writer is not at home with this skill..." (16) That's just a false statement. I have terrible handwriting. In fact, I never achieved better than a "C" in handwriting all through Elementary school (My teachers just told me to try harder). Yet, I feel very comfortable putting my thoughts on paper. And, what about the people who have excellent handwriting, but can't write a good paragraph?
The section is rendered particularly useless since people are writing less and typing more. The days of masking spelling mistakes with blurred letters (16) and illegible handwriting (15) are just about over. We can use word processors to correct both our illegible writing and our spelling (God bless America).
And, who even thought up cursive anyway? It's stupid! Nobody can read it!
I got a little carried away, there. I just don't think that handwriting is important in the long run. There are better things we could be spending our time correcting more glaring mistakes. I mean, surely, we will have to be able to read the students' writing, but I'm not going to waste class time on explaining the benefits of pretty handwriting. It's the same as saying that good writers dress well. Obviously that student is a below-average writer; look at the way he's dressed!


gaimangirl said...

You have a good point about the questionable relevance of handwriting these days, but I do think that we could perhaps just interpret this as a consideration of students who have trouble with the physical act of writing, whether handwriting or typing, and how this can be a barrier to getting thoughts on the page. In other words, there are all sorts of factors, that we may not even think about or that we take for granted, that can possibly contribute to some students' problems with writing.

wildcat007 said...

I tend to agree with you assessment of the validity of handwriting related to writing skill. I was reprimanded throughout most of my elementary and junior high years for my handwriting, yet I have always been able to communicate my thoughts efficiently on paper. I still struggle with handwriting when it is required for long periods of time. Thank goodness for word processors!