But apparently there are some traditionalists out there who believe that learning to pen those curved, loopy letters as a means of human communication should continue to be part of the standard academic curriculum.
Not me. I celebrate the demise of cursive. And not just for the sake of future generations of young children who might be spared my childhood travails, but from the satisfaction derived from seeing an old nemesis vanquished.
Back in the late 1950's to mid 1960's when I was an elementary school student penmanship, or the art of fine handwriting, was an academic subject held at the same level of importance as Reading Arithmatic, History, Geography, Science, English and every other required field of knowledge or skill. We were taught the Palmer method, the goal of which was for us to learn to reproduce on paper those graceful glyphs which at the time bordered the top of every blackboard in every school in the country.
It would be over half a century later before it would be revealed to me that my inability with a writing utensil was likely due to a congenital weakness in the first joint of the index finger of my right hand. At the time the weakness in my joint was, I believed, perceived as a weakness in my character. In any case, I was pronounced sloppy.
As with occasional rowdy behavior, boys could better get away with rowdy handwriting; boys weren't realistically expected to behave all the time or have neat handwriting. Girls were expected expected to do both. All the time. Good girls didn't get into trouble at school and, unfortunately, bad handwriting could get a girl into trouble back then, earning a public reprimand, even a smack on the hand with a ruler, and definitely a bad academic reputation. I believed that my teachers took my bad handwriting and sloppy papers personally. But they were just doing their job.
Nor, apparently, was was my experience based on the fact that I went to a Catholic school; my husband Tom, who went public school, once told me that in elementary school his handwriting was so extremely beyond the acceptable pale that he was sent down to the principal's office and pronounced (but fortunately, only temporaily) learning disabled.
But then high school came along for which I went to a private college preparatory girls' school where all of a sudden nobody cared about handwriting anymore. I marveled at the smart, high-achieving girls in my class whose handwriting was even worse than mine. I'm sure nobody even knew I had awful handwriting because nobody seemed to notice mine the way I noticed everybody else's. Classmates, teachers, nobody seemed to care about my handwriting. It was liberating.