Disappearing Ink: Thoughts On a Dying Art Form…

15 12 2009

“The bundles of paper are bound by brittle elastics, stuffed into broken-down shoeboxes and shoved under the bed.

Flowered notepaper displays the familiar swirls and curls of a childhood best friend who moved away. One glimpse and I am 12 again, ripping open envelopes and fretting over who has replaced me.

A teenage boy’s first declaration of love is hidden in a page of scrawl, the three brave words less daunting to put on paper than utter aloud.

My father’s quirky upright script is as distinctive as his blue eyes peering from a family photo. As a kid, finally managing to decipher it was as exhilarating as winning the 25-yard dash on track and field day.

There are a colleague’s reflections in fountain pen, so handsome they could have been written by a medieval scribe. Camp letters scribbled in haste by a son who couldn’t wait to get back to his canoe. Words that slump with the homesickness of a sister living half a world away.”

— Andrea Gordon


I read this article about “The Death of Handwriting” (excerpt above) earlier today and man, did it hit me like a ton of bricks! I know it sounds silly but I was actually fighting back tears as I was reading it. As a (hand)writer myself, losing this art is like losing a loved one. Growing up, handwriting was something I tried hard to master…yet something I always detested because it was forced upon us to learn in school. “Cursive?”, our class would moan, “…why learn it when printing is sooooo much easier”. It was hard and it was ugly. But as the years went on, we had no choice but to embrace it and I remember a time in junior high when my girlfriends and I would compare our handwriting with one another. “Ohhhh I like your ‘G’…let me see if I can copy it!” And so we would try to imitate each other…picking and choosing the letters and styles that we thought were ‘pretty’…each one of us trying to find our identity through penmanship. I remember distinctly, at one point, all of our writings actually looked oddly similar. Until those days of imitation stopped and comparing with one another was no longer a priority… Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements




solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and (thankfully) short

30 11 2009

Damn Hobbes and his Leviathan. Clearly he and other related political thinkers have been pervading my mind.

Yup, it’s that time of the year my friends. And nope, I’m not talking about holidays. I’m talking about the dreaded time that comes right before then…exam season. Dun, dun, dun! The past week has been absolute madness and this week will be even worse with two papers and three finals to write. So right now, I’ve been in my own little bubble dealing with matters of sovereignty, NGOs, IOs, MNCs, inequality, globalization, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Veblen, Nietzsche, Weber, ICTs, dadadada the list never seems to end. I’ve been living in cafes all week and I’ve seriously considered moving into one and living there for the time being. It’s been brutal, I tell you. So brutal that in the past week I’ve had to line up to get into a library. A library. That’s when you know you’ve reached the peak of your cool. And I know that this struggle of mine is a plight shared by many others. Makes me question whether Hobbes was actually talking more about studentkind than all of mankind when he said that life was solitary, poor (oh so very, very poor!), nasty, brutish, and (thankfully!) short.

So for all of my fellow students out there finding themselves sleep-deprived, overly-caffeinated, and losing your mind, I feel your pain. Just gotta keep on keepin’ on and I’ll see you all on the flip side!