There are jokes about magazines in doctor’s offices and yesterday I realized why. I was waiting in radiology for an appointment for an x-ray and there on the table was ‘X-Ray Today’ magazine and ‘Radiology and You’.

Then when I was waiting for my primary physician in Internal Medicine, there were year old health magazines and copies of ‘Prevention’. Someone had even sneaked a ‘Men’s Health’ in for good measure..

So imagine my surprise, when I found an unusual non health magazine just lying out in the open. Yes, it was six months old, but the ‘Costco Connection’ was something interesting to read while waiting for my appointment. I had never before seen this magazine and while all the special offers had expired, there were some good articles.

The one that interested me the most, was an article on the pros and cons of teaching cursive writing in the schools. I had never given this much thought. I know I was taught handwriting in around the fourth grade and so were my children.

I get nice handwritten thank you notes from my grandchildren who are nine and eleven and it is a pleasure to see their handwriting, even on the envelopes.

Evidently with the way the world is now, with computers, texting and emailing, there is very little use for actual handwriting any more. Other than it is a nice social grace, and we don’t have too many of those any more either.

The argument for teaching handwriting as a school subject is a little weak. Mainly it has to do with the importance of a person’s signature. (Why not just teach that?)

Each child would only have to learn two or three capital letters and about ten lower case letters. And as they would only have to write two words, they could probably squeeze this class in between typing and spelling.

Although with the spell check feature on computers, and phones that correct your spelling, this may be obsolete soon too. But then we wouldn’t have spelling bee’s. Oh, dear, what is this world coming to?

On the other hand, the opponents of teaching cursive writing in the schools certainly have some good points. I think in a debate, they would win.

One, the time that it takes could better be spent teaching something more useful. Two, all school papers need to be typed nowadays. And three, most children by the age they are taught cursive writing, or as we called it ‘longhand’, own a computer and a cell phone and either email or text their correspondence.

Even invitations, which I recall lovingly writing by hand and giving them to my friends personally, are handled by eVite. You can email your invitations and the person can RSVP by email and the eVite company keeps track of the whole shebang.

I remember getting my first typewriter for high school graduation. It was a manual typewriter and I carefully packed it and took it to college in 1955. Shortly after that, electric typewriters came out and there were even portable models. But they hummed, and people said the sound got in the way of your thinking.

Then there was the word processor. This marvel allowed you to move type around and edit whole paragraphs. I couldn’t wait to get one. I decided on the Brother Whisper Writer. I went to Staples, got a demonstration, bought the machine and took it home.

I set it up, plugged it in, and it just sat there and wouldn’t go. My husband was laughing his head off, as he thought this was ridiculous anyway. I packed it all up in the original styrofoam and box and lugged it back to the store. I complained that it didn’t work.

The fellow who had helped me in the first place, plugged it in and then showed me that to make it work you had to press the Start button, which was on the back of the machine. Of course I felt like an idiot.

Now that I have had a computer for nearly ten years, I can’t imagine not having one. But now I enjoy using interesting fonts to make my emails unique.

My favorite one is Comic Sans for all my general writing, but on the subject of Cursive Writing, I do like the the Lucida Handwriting font for special thank you notes and poetry.

I also use various stationary styles which I order from Equinux. These are called Stationary Packs and you get about 100 styles for $29.95. Pack 2 is $49.95 and there are a lot more choices. Many can be customized using your own photos.

I like a large font, so I usually use an 18 or 20 size. This always comes out perfect and I must say, a whole lot easier to read that my personal handwriting, which is not so great.

I was always a straight A student, but I got a C in handwriting. As I recall, I didn’t hold the pencil correctly and my posture while writing was not acceptable.

Amazingly enough, I managed to graduate high school, and go on to UCLA and all the time, did all my homework, reading and writing on my bed, lying down, leaning against a pile of pillows.

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