Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Today UPS freight will deliver two new Oneway lathes to the school, so that means we will be shifting things and making room. I will also be preparing for a class at school on Friday for teachers. Between those two things and today's classes, it will be a busy day.

Yesterday, NPR had a news report about the fight over whether or not cursive writing should be taught in schools. The argument centers around tradition, and whether or not students will be capable of reading historic documents or writing letters. But from the standpoint of the hands and the creative expressiveness of the hands, cursive is much more than swirly writing on paper. Nietzsche, was going blind and began writing with a type writer. One of his friends had noticed that he wrote differently and brought it to Nietzche's attention. Yes, he replied. The typing was changing the way he thought.

Typing when done well is pizzicato.  Typing on iPhones is awkward in comparison. But cursive was when thoughts flowed onto paper like melted butter from the mind.

It used to be that thoughts were composed of materials and sentences about the length of a human breath. Now, with fingers on tiny keyboards, thoughts are reduced to random stacatto. Whereas with cursive, there was a flow between letters and an interconnection between things, and the opportunity for creative expression in form as well as content, and perhaps we should be watching how we write as well as what we write. But then, even writing itself as an expression of ideas, may be falling into the dustbin of educational malfeasance. If the hands are the source of all human wisdom, we've become pretty dumb on the way to educational reform.

But not in wood shop.

Make, fix, create...

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