Handwriting used to be really important. Handwriting was a graded course from first through third grade. We first learned printing and then moved on to script, or what we called longhand and is now called cursive. Longhand was tough for me. It was not until second grade that I was allowed to write between two lines instead of three. This used to be a big deal. The paper we used was yellow lined paper. It had no margins, and was so cheap that there were tiny wood chunks of still unprocessed paper scattered throughout the writing surface. Writing between only two lines reduced the chances of having to run your pencil point into a wood chunk.
I write left handed so I faced the problem of following my writing with my palm and smudging everything I wrote. Fortunately my teacher showed me how to slant the paper so that I could write and avoid smudging. It was not many years before I hit First grade that teachers would have tied my left hand behind my back and forced me to learn to write with my right hand. Slanting the paper was a better solution. I’m not sure, but I think John Wayne Gacy was forced to write with his right hand in this way (giyp).
Mrs. Cranky went to a Catholic school. I do not know how she survived with her handwriting. Catholic school was notorious for placing extraordinary importance on handwriting. I think it was a holdover from the monks having to copy The Bible calligraphically.
Mrs. Cranky’s handwriting is so bad that I can hardly read her chicken scratch. If I go grocery shopping with her list I have to question her before I leave.
“What is totly parpy?”
“Wait, let me see….TOILET PAPER!”
“What the hell is eng murphies?”
“That’s ENGLISH MUFFINS!.....jerk.”
“What is Tkr sauce?”
Sometimes she is stumped by her own writing.
“Ok I give up, what is kprglibnk?”
“What? Give me that……..shit, I don’t know….buy something that starts with a K…..and you’re still a jerk!”