Cursive Writing: an Annie story

Cursive writing is no longer taught in most schools.  With the advent of computer keyboards, it has fallen by the wayside as inconsequential; however, that wasn’t always the case. Annie and her class started to learn to write in cursive in the second grade.

Third grade provided a year of practicing it daily as there were many opportunities to write sentences and short paragraphs.  It was during Annie’s year spent with Mrs. Rinehart that she and her classmates developed huge calluses on their middle fingers from pressing the pencil tightly in their hands.  At least, Annie had one that never went away.

Annie’s callus was a bit unusual as hers was on her left hand.  Only a few kids in her class were left-handed like Annie; however, Annie was even unusual for a left-hander as she didn’t have the habit of writing with her hand almost upside down and backwards as the other lefties did. Annie, as well as her two sisters, had been taught by her left-handed grandmother to turn the page so that it made writing straightforward.

Annie’s fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Albert, had recently rearranged the seating arrangements so that all the left-handed students sat beside each other.  Fortunately for Annie, she was sitting right beside two of the cutest boys in the class and across from another one. Mark and Frank sat on either side of her, and Jack sat directly across her.

By fourth grade, sloppy writing habits were beginning to kick in, though. Mrs. Albert decided that enough was enough, and that backhanded cursive was becoming all too pervasive and needed to come to an end.  While backhanded slants are considered normal for lefties, this isn’t true for those who are right-handed.  Thus, it was that on this day, anyone who was left-handed or didn’t write with a backhanded slant could read or quietly talk to their neighbor if he or she wasn’t busy with the writing lesson.

It came to be that Mark, Frank, Annie, Cathy, the only other left-hander in the class, Jack, and a few others were all fortunate to be freed from the lesson. Although Annie knew Jack from being in the same class the previous year, she had never really gotten to know him well.  (Boys and girls didn’t tend to pal around on the playground together.)

On this day, though, with the sudden ability to speak openly as she, Mark, and Jack were quietly conversing, she suddenly realized how dark brown his eyes were.  They were a deep, dark chocolate, almost black. Because she had blue eyes, which seemed so commonplace, his twinkling brown eyes and his wide smile made her heart race, at least, just a bit.  Yes, she still had her major crush on Mark.  Yes, she still liked Frank, who was Robin’s boyfriend, but in her mind, that day, there was a minor shift in her opinion of Jack. His eyes, his smile, and his self-assuredness had made a big impression on Annie. Was the same ever true for Jack?  Annie never knew.

Too soon, the writing lesson ended, and everybody was working in their arithmetic book. Thereafter, Annie continued writing with a backhanded slant, but knowing that it was a statement of who she was made her proud of being left-handed.

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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4 Responses to Cursive Writing: an Annie story

  1. julespaige says:

    Odd how handedness appears in families. And thankfully those who are aren’t singled out so much these days. We have several lefties in the family…a SIL, BIL, Son and grandson! While teaching I learned to cut left handed for the preschoolers I taught so they wouldn’t have to adjust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JP,
      My family is riddled with lefties…both of my sisters are also left-handed as well as several of my cousins and at least one of my aunts. One of my sons is also a leftie; I can only hope his son is, too. In fact, on the one side of my family (paternal side although Dad was right-handed) has almost more left-handed people than right-handed people. On my mother’s side (again right-handed), my grandfather was left-handed although he was forced to write with his right hand. His handwriting was terrible, too. How my paternal grandmother managed to be allowed to left-handed I’ll never know, but she was the one who showed us to do many things from a left-handed perspective. ~nan

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        I read once where a castle somewhere the spiral of the tower steps were actually set to be at the advantage of the left handed swordsman!

        Odd how a perspective is labeled. And then equally all the myth and fact that gets played up into it. 😉

        I remember teaching myself to write left handed…not just the reverse mirror image of the right. It takes some thought and effort that. 😉

        Maybe that’s why there are many who are ambidextrous – to either hide and or work with what they’ve got. It depends on how you are taught. One of our lefties plays ball rightie because of being taught that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandmother could write with her right hand, but was a leftie. Her writing was beautiful and one of my cousin’s handwriting is nearly identical. Every time I see a card from her, I think of my grandmother.
    While I do most things left-handed, I golf right-handed and on the rare occasion I play softball, I usually bat right-handed (although I am not good batting on either side). Yes, those who can switch back and forth are to be commended. I liked Ron Oester, a second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the late 70s, early 80s, because he as a switch-hitter. Now, that’s a skill!

    Like

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