The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Penmanship regression threatens present, future jobs

Excellent penmanship doesn’t run in the Kubacki family. At least if you limit the focus to my and my dad’s chicken scratching.

As a kid, I remember co-signing greeting and holiday cards with my parents. While I was still learning to write, I recall thinking how sharp and jagged my dad’s letters were. It looked wrong.

Plus, whenever my dad penned a shopping list for me and my mom, it was nigh unreadable. He rarely received the cereal he thought he wrote down.

It’s entirely possible that my disdain for my dad’s penmanship arose from perfecting mine in school. By third grade, I learned cursive and continued to use it throughout sixth grade.

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I even used a blue erasable pen that smeared the ink all over as I dragged my fist across the page.

What can I say, I’ve never perfected my posture either. I’m slouching even now while there’s a faded pencil smudge on my right hand.

But by now, the academia ennui has driven me into such malaise that there is no hope left for a redemption of my penmanship.

For a writer, I can’t write very well.

The thought occurred to me the other night in the Writing Center. The student had a few repeated errors in her paper, so I took to filling in the margins with tiny grammar lessons and pointers.

She stopped me mid-thought and asked me to translate my hieroglyphics.

I had written “if” and “a” too close together, creating “ifa.”

Understandably, she thought I was a loon.

I took a moment to observe my previous annotations. They now seemed unintelligible. For the rest of the session my paranoia grew, and I spent just as long scratching out and rewriting my corrections as I did making them.

Even my in-class note taking has transformed into something more alien than familiar. But at least in the moment I’m trying to scribble down as much of a lecture as I can before the professor advances the slide.

I should really look into developing a shorthand system, especially since I’ll need to vastly improve my notetaking as a newspaper reporter.

But with my handwriting regressing, the unknown future of my reporting keeps me up all naptime.

I’m probably the only student willing to take a course in reestablishing my penmanship skills.

I mean, both of my middle and high schools offered keyboarding, but as far as I know, Mavis Beacon doesn’t teach writing.

While I spend boring lectures trying to remember how to write capital letters in cursive, I don’t really fault my dad for his dip in penmanship.

He is a computer programmer, after all.

But it’s more an indicator of what I need to improve on before I hit the job market.

At least my résumé is already typed.



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