Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Zip Script, Burnt Meat

Zip code picture.  Click on the map; see your zip code's picture.  It's really that simple.  The project is only slightly more complicated when you consider that a zip code, according to the note at the site, "is not a geographical area but a route which may not be definable as a polygon."  So a zip code could be a broken pathway, in a sense; a route that doesn't close onto itself--a delivery loop (mail'll come again tomorrow...and the next day, polygon or no polygon).  Here's the picture of my zip code.  I see it as the back of an owl who was stung with a blow dart.  Or an awl. 

The latest copy of NCTE Inbox showed up today, and one of the links pointed to this article from the Hartford Courant declaring, "The Handwriting Is On The Wane."  Curious title, I thought, so I followed the link and found a series of delightfully old-fashioned observations from teachers who share concerns about gradual demise of handwriting. 

Relying more and more on e-mail, blogs, websites, instant messaging and other electronic forms of communication, students at all levels are forgetting the fine art of handwriting, educators say. Cursive script, the graceful looping style that connects one letter to another, might be going the way of the inkwell and the fountain pen.

While I was reading up on the handwriting endisms, bemusing how unbearable my day would have been had I attempted to handwrite the near-2,500 words of endnotes responding to a partial set of 307 projects, I decided I'd prove once and for all that my handwriting skills have withstood a reliance on "e-mail, blogs, websites, instant messaging, and other electronic forms of communication."  And so I filled out my dad's birthday card, slowly and in my best script, resplendent with swishy, swooping smoothness.  Took it to the office, where the envelope waited, and where I would check it against D.'s eye for such things. "Decent handwriting, yeah?" I said, almost proud of my finest Denelian.  She: "It's connected print.  Do you know the difference?"  Um. No. I. Don't.  All the same. When Dad gets it, the handwriting...it's a special blend of connected print and disconnected handwriting.

This link--last of the three I wanted to share--will send you to the hottest (well, smokiest, sauciest) weblog in the Midwest: Gremlin Grill--Kansas City Barbecue.  Burnt meat.  Recipes and foodstuff.  BBQ contests and beer-capades. A cool flaming-car logo.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at September 27, 2005 11:00 PM to Unspecified

Is that a PACER??

Also re: the handwriting. Both Hannah and Jack went to a preschool that taught DeNealian, and I was so thrilled how the leans and curves really were setting them up to be successful cursive artists.

Now at the school we're in, they DON'T use DeNealian, and Hannah has started "cursive" this year (3rd grade) and their cursive model is seriously aesthetically lacking. This, what she's learning as cursive, is connected print. The program is called Handwriting Without Tears (?) I think, and it doesn't even LEAN. Straight up and down loopy connected print.

Oh well. I suppose I could have more important qualms with my kids' education. :)

Posted by: madeline at September 28, 2005 1:36 PM

Might be a Pacer. Or a Gremlin. Whatever it is, it looks fast.

I probably exaggerated my concern about handwriting by just a little bit. I've always been somewhat ambivalent about it--never really performing handwriting as neatly the good-cursive kids (the ones smiling..."Done!" with a row of perfect waves and tails). Of course, just as much as I'd like to see a more robust computer programs in elementary schools (thinking about Ph. here), so many of the encounters with computers are prefaced by dull keyboarding drills (copying other people's textbook sentences).

Posted by: Derek at September 28, 2005 7:21 PM