My handwriting is an abomination. It's embarassing because even I can't read it most of the time. With digital being all the rage and the world "going paperless" it seems like the perfect time to address this problem of mine.
To start, I bought a book. Each day I work through at least one page in "Write Now The Getty-Dubay Program for Handwriting Success". It is absolutely what it sounds like: something you'll find in a first grade classroom if handwriting is even taught anymore. The lines are largely spaced with letters to be traced.
Poetry fascinates me. I don't get it at all and thus the fascination. Poetry moves others spiritually and emotionaly. Assuming I have the capacity I could learn something like quantum mechanics from schooling but how do you learn to feel when exposed to the writen word?
Simple, the Dead Poet's Society.
"Dead Poet's Society" has to be one of the most poorly acted and cheesiest hits of my lifetime. I love it. Robin Williams plays an inspiration to the sniffling Ethan Hawke and his peach fuzzed cohorts in a boys school. Heavy topics, terrible acting. Watch it. Laugh when a teenage boy attempts to cry on film in front of other boys. Love it.
When young, and much less cynical, I was drawn to the film because I wanted a teacher like Robin Williams. I wanted to be taught by someone who was unorthodox, passionate, and cared so deeply for their students they'd risk their career and the wrath of the "institution". I wanted to be driven to change fueled by an inspiration I've yet to discover. What became their inspiration? Poetry of course.
The poets referenced in the film are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and the most quoted being Walt Whitman, "Papa Walt". These three were part of the transadentalist movement by being passionately american with a strong conviction for the individual's place in our society. I've read "Walden" by Thoreau and loved it. It's what I wanted the Bradlands to be, my Walden.
End Tangent, not really
In order to improve my handwriting I need to write. In order to understand poetry I need to read and invest time and effort to understand. Reading to pass the time or to put me to sleep won't cut it.
Here's what I came up with:
- I will read a book of poetry if not two.
- I will write down any word, pronunciation, and defintion of a term or phrase that I don't understand or am not familiar with.
- I will write down any phrase or passage that I enjoy for content or structure.
- I will write any thoughts or parallels that come to mind.
Truth be told, after a few nights of it, it feels like studying rather than reading. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, just not how I expected to be spending some evenings.
I started with Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. After that I have "Walden" queued up, which will be my second read of it, followed by some Ralph Waldo Emerson essays. I tend to jump around a lot in regards to reading topics so I doubt it will occur as I've laid out above. So that my writing doesn't flex along with the desire to or not to study I'm also writing personal letters and sending them via snail mail. It's rewarding unlike any facebook post or email could ever be. I highly recommend it.
At the end of the day I doubt I'll become a calligrapher or even what would be considered someone with nice handwriting. But if I keep it up maybe I'll be mistaken as a competent adult… in handwriting only of course.