Remember when that was still a requirement? These lovely sheets were a part of your school supplies list. It made learning calligraphy that much easier to learn and signing your name on anything was an opportunity to show off. Didn’t even matter if you were great at it. You just felt like it justified the hours of practice at home.
When word first came out that a number of schools were no longer teaching it (though it is being revived in some places), my words were something along the line of, “that’s not fair” and “so we don’t have to sign anything apparently”. My sarcasm was at the same level when I found out I didn’t have to learn to parallel park (certain Chicago suburbs don’t require it to get your license).
Yes, part of me wanted later generations to experience the emotional turmoil of mastering the awkward curves and swirls. After all, everyone else always had. But that’s a) not mature in any way whatsoever and b) not a way to inspire change. Mostly, a skill I still consider necessary was being eliminated.
Your signature is a creative ownership. There are times you need to be able to read other people’s handwriting and you learn best by practice. It’s a different perspective on the language. For those interested in typography, it adds to the discussion of what makes a typeface. Why is a certain style more visually appealing? What evokes a sense of history in the same way as vintage documents?
It sustains a connection to the past. You all know I love that.
Looking at this makes me smile. The level of detail and amount of care you can take in from each letter. Because this style of writing wasn’t fast…not if you wanted it to look good. And since it took longer, you thought more about what was being conveyed. There was a serious purpose and deep respect built into the practice.
That’s what I miss. That’s why I wish more children were still being taught how to do that. That’s why I don’t want to see this art form diminish any further.