Saturday, January 29, 2011

Writing Curse-ive

My second grader is learning handwriting. He's apparently very passionate about it. It's being taught to him slowly in school, a few letters per week. Each day, he comes home and diligently practices line after line of l and i and u and t and combines them into words like it and...well that's about it. They also have him make combinations that don't make sense on their own. He was excited by the possibility of combining l-u-i.

He's more interested in learning how to write this way than I think I ever was and certainly more than I am now. In fact, I print everything I write by hand now. At one point, during college, I became irrationally concerned that my professor was not going to be able to read what I wrote on final essay questions and I didn't want all the golden wisdom I was scrawling into the little blue composition books to be for naught. I decided then I would revert back to printing and have never looked back.

My son is so interested, in fact, in this new style of writing that two and three letter combination weren't enough to quench my budding calligrapher's thirst for new challenges. After his daily lessons, he would go rogue. He took the entire alphabet instruction sheet that was sent home and would pick out the letters he needed to spell what he wanted. Soon, he was working ahead of his prescribed daily learning regimen and writing all sorts of words he had yet to write in school.

He triumphantly showed me his creations. Words like:


Next, of all things to write, he penned Chooclate shake, then inquired as to whether he had spelled it right. When I told him the o's aren't together in the word chocolate, he destroyed the paper, leaving me no photographic evidence. Then, as if angry at me for correcting his spelling he returned with a new word, spelled perfectly: Butthole. After scolding him for writing such a word, explaining to him that learning handwriting didn't give him free reign to write whatever he wanted, he destroyed that piece of paper as well.

He then returned to more tame words, writing a greeting for his grandparents who were to arrive and watch him and his brother:

But this cleaner writing wasn't destined to last long. Soon, the vulgar impulse that handwriting must bring out in my son reared its ugly head once again and he produced words like,

which is apparently supposed to say "Moon the moon," but once he gets started writing bumps on n's or m's he has trouble stopping.

Then there came,

which I was pretty impressed by and let slide and then,

whose capital K made me so proud, I allowed it.

But soon it became clear to me why my son insists on saying cursive instead of handwriting. Later on the next day, I found the same sheet of paper with more words scribbled on it, including this:

For those that have trouble reading that, it says "Crapolla." At least he made the upper-case C correctly, and I'm pretty sure he spelled it right. We will have to discuss proper transitions from o to l, however.

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