In The Age of Keyboards, Don't Neglect Your Penmanship
Remember all those drills you did in elementary school to shore up your handwriting? It may be time to dust off some of those skills.
Remember all those drills you did in elementary school to shore up your handwriting? Looking back now, you may wonder if things would have been different had educators possessed the prescience to see how little we write by hand today. At the same time, our reliance on keyboards and touchscreens have severely stunted our penmanship.
It's important to remember that society and culture are constructed upon language. While digital currently trumps physical, the value of good penmanship still remains high. If you've allowed your handwriting to suffer (or you're my primary physician), here are some tips to improve your longhand courtesy of Chris Kornelis of The Wall Street Journal:
1. Choose your weapon: The pen is mightier than the sword. Just as you wouldn't see Aragorn running into battle armed with chopsticks, you don't want to practice your penmanship with an inferior instrument. Kornelis lists quite a few fancy pens in his article but I'll spare you the details and simply relay that the best tool for your purpose is a fountain pen. Unlike the streaming rollerball or obstinate ballpoint, a fountain pen promotes relaxed writing and superior legibility. Alternatively, a good pencil will also do the trick. Check out Kornelis' piece if you're interested in purchasing a pencil more expensive than your last car payment.
2. Establish a regimen: Kornelis recommends this site for downloadable worksheets just like the ones you used in Miss Mulberry's 2nd grade classroom. Remember: when practicing, repetition is key. You're looking to boost muscle memory and train your motor reflexes.
3. Put it into action: Compose a handwritten note. Draft a letter. Buy some stamps and send them through the post. Go crazy, folks. Just do your best to incorporate what you practice into everyday life. Handwriting and penmanship may seem like dying arts, but it's important to keep your skills sharp.
Let us know what you think about penmanship. Can you imagine decades from now a generation unable to write? If digital keeps spreading, will people inevitably abandon things like cursive?
Keep Reading at WSJ Online
Photo credit: Vima / Shutterstock
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
The future of education and work will rely on teaching students deeper problem-solving skills.
- Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over.
- Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it?
- "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says.
These Jurassic predators resorted to cannibalism when hit with hard times, according to a deliciously rare discovery.
- Rare fossil evidence of dinosaur cannibalism among the Allosaurus has been discovered.
- Scientists analyzed dinosaur bones found in the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in western Colorado, paying special attention to bite marks that were present on 2,368 of the bones.
- It's likely that the predatory carnivore only ate their already-dead peers during times when resources were scarce.
As a doctor, I am reminded every day of the fragility of the human body, how closely mortality lurks just around the corner.