Why It’s More Than Just Handwriting

I created a meme on my Facebook page yesterday making a joke about how today’s students do not know how to write in cursive (or read it for that matter!). It sparked a conversation as to whether or not cursive should be part of today’s curriculum. With all the state standards and core curriculum, teaching cursive has been kicked to the curb. But should it be?

I thought about this all day. I kept coming up with reasons to teach it as well as reasons not to. But in the end, I realized writing, actual handwriting, is so much more than just “writing”.

A few weeks back, I asked my aunt to pass along my grandma’s cookie recipe. I knew my aunt had kept my grandma’s cookbooks (more like bibles of culinary and confectionery perfections) after she passed. Mere minutes later, I received a text with the recipe. It wasn’t typed. It wasn’t from the internet. It wasn’t a page out of a bestselling cookbook. It was a hand written recipe from a long time ago. Like a really long time ago. Like who knows how long ago, but long enough, that the paper is wrinkled, torn, and yellowed.

When I laid eyes upon that paper, my world completely stopped. I mean it. It literally stopped. I gasped as my eyes filled with tears. Breath escaped me. In that moment, I was transported back to my grandma’s kitchen. I was standing next to her. Helping her. Baking with her. Making memories. I could smell her perfume, hear her voice, smell the sweet scents of each spice. I could see it all as if it were just yesterday. And I assure you, it was NOT the recipe itself that ignited the emotion. It was seeing her writing.

Seeing the curve of each letter, the slant of the print, the words one after another, it all evoked such emotion. It is more than just handwriting. It is a piece of her. A tangible part of her. A palpable memento. No typed recipe could incite such emotion. It just can’t. Although a typed note can bring back a memory, seeing my grandma’s writing 18 years later, is just an indescribable emotional feeling.

Typing, writing software, and word processing programs may all make writing seamless, more efficient, and more accurate, but it cannot replace the humanness of handwriting. It’s an art. It sparks emotion. It rouses feelings. It brings back memories. It’s more than just “handwriting”. It’s all encompassing and to me, after my experience, it is essential.

My Grandma’s Recipe

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