I watched my mother as she sat crossed legged on her bed with a stenographer pad on her lap. Her hand moved smoothly across the paper; intermittently stopping to dot an “I” or cross a “T”. She was writing a letter to her mother who lived in North Carolina. Letters to her mom were usually long since this was her way of sharing all the happenings of our family. In the sixties, long distance calls were saved for urgent messages and special occasions; so my mom wrote often. As I observed her writing, I marveled as she filled page after page in her fluid cursive script before signing off with a flourish: Greeba D Foster.
In my 7-year-old mind, this was the most magical and amazing thing in the world. Cursive writing! I tried to imagine the day I’d be able to not only duplicate all those swirls and curly “Q’s” but read it as well. I fretted over ever learning this delightful ability since I was struggling in school to hold the pencil the “right” way in my left hand just to make regular letters. I did manage to pass first grade with an “A” in penmanship but cursive writing was still a long ways off. By third grade I still was not able to read or write the hieroglyphics of cursive writing. I remember thinking: “There’s no way they’re going to let me pass to 4th grade if I don’t know how to cursive write.” In the meantime I was still facing some challenges in my left-handed world from sitting in desks that were designed for right-handed students. What I ultimately learned about cursive writing in a left-hand word was this:
The thrill of finally mastering this art form (With a BIC pen!) was not the way I held the writing tool nor the kind of desk I sat in; it was the way I slanted the paper!
Here’s to left-handed cursive writers everywhere!