Friday, May 7, 2010

Jesuit On Penmanship

The lost art of penmanship
The pen is mightier than the sword, they say. But one wonders if people in just a few decades will ask what that means, just as today they might inquire, for example, about the origin and/or meaning of being hoisted by your own petard. The sword has been replaced by rather more lethal weapons and is seen these days mainly in pirate movies. But what of the pen? Is it similarly destined for obsolescence? 
Peter Schineller S.J., an associate editor of the Jesuit magazine America, raises this point in a video. A fellow Jesuit who is a teacher said that a student told him he couldn’t understand his written comments and corrections on a paper he’d handed back. 
It turned out the student couldn’t read cursive writing at all. John Patrick Shanley has reminded us in “Doubt” that there was a certain type of teaching nun who thought that the ballpoint pen represented the end of civilization. The America staff member, who is also an archivist for the New York province of the Society of Jesus, isn’t so apocalyptic about the potential demise of all types of pens. However, he suggests there will come a time when people “will be unable to read the Declaration of Independence or love letters from grandpa to grandma written 50 or 100 years ago".

Link (here) a post entitled The Reluctant Teacher at the Irish Echo.

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