Sunday, September 20, 2009

Will Gen X be the last generation to walk upright?

One day, I saw a girl sign her name by printing it, and it freaked me out. Letter, pause. Letter, pause. Letter, pause...

But it turns out that this was just a sign of things to come. I asked if that's how she always signs her name, and she said, yes. Her penmanship was neat, but it wasn't in any way unique.

Schools no longer teach cursive writing according to the Associated Press,
"Cursive writing may be fading skill, but so what?"
[Tom Breen, Associated Press Writer, Sat. Sept. 19, 2009]

So what? You know why cursive is so awesome? It proves sustained thought. It reinforces an understanding of spatial relationships and proportion... better than video games. Printing is for someone with a short attention span. Printing is what we teach apes to do. Except that damn orangutan that keeps writing, "ape must never kill ape," whatever that's supposed to mean.
"'We need to make sure they'll be ready for what's going to happen in 2020 or 2030,' said Katie Van Sluys, a professor at DePaul University..."
Fine, they'll be ready for the year 2030, but fifty years from now, when the world goes to hell because of some natural or man made catastrophe, or because some idiot shoots Michael Rennie, or because God stops by on his way to a planet where they didn't murder his son and sees all the shit we've been up to for the last 2,000 years, and whups us with His galaxy-sized belt (yes, He's put on weight), there won't be any more Internets.

And then where will the printing people be? Society will split between the "chickenscratchers," who can't get a car loan because they can't sign their own names, and the "penmasters" who rule the lands the dashing flourish of their John Hancocks.

As evidenced above, today's kids don't even have signatures. Are they going to print their names on their credit cards? What is the percentage of identity theft going to be when they can't sign their names and every fact about them is already shared online?

"They're writing, they're composing with these tools at home, and to have school look so different from that set of experiences is not the best idea," she [Katie Van Sluys] said.
So today's schools only teach kids what they already know? WTF???

I always thought school was supposed to teach new shit. But I guess we've given up on that because it's too difficult. You know how they teach a bear to ride a bicycle? Torture. It works. Now teach the damn kids how to write a letter in cursive.
"In the age of computers, I just tell the children, what if we are on an island and don't have electricity? One of the ways we communicate is through writing," she [teacher Sharon Spencer] said.
There's a teach who understands the problem. But ask any kid what he would do if the Internet was down and he'd probably answer, "Nothing." Why are schools teaching kids to do nothing? We should be preparing them for the days of no electricity.

And what about printing? Isn't it good enough for communication? It's good enough to write, "Employees Must Wash Their Hands After Using the Restroom." But it for damn sure isn't good enough to write, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, ..."

Okay, fine, you looked at a copy of the Declaration of Independence and saw that the word "When" is printed.
But you see that "W"? That W took Jefferson an hour and a half to make. If he printed out the entire document like that, we would all still be British. And The Beatles would have come from The Bronx; and what would Rubber Soul sound like then, huh, smartypants? You think you know everything.