Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Demise of Cursive and Further Proof That I Should Have Taught English

A while back, the Man-Cub asked me to help him with an American History assignment that he was having some trouble with. Because the history class is a college-level course, I assumed that his struggles were with memorizing dates of battles or something of that nature. Yeah. Not so much.

The assignment was to analyze an historical document and to write a detailed paper about the document, the author-or authors-of the document, the period in history during which the document was created, and, the Cub needed to include details from the document in the paper.

Obviously, the first step in  analyzing the document would be actually reading the damn thing, and, herein lie the Cub's dilemma; his document, a letter written during the westward migration otherwise known as The Oregon Trail, was written in cursive.

Guess what the kids aren't learning in public schools these days?

That's right, cursive.

To the Cub, the document might as well be written in French.

So, it was up to me to read the letter to the Cub, which, I did...pretty much.

Hey! In my defense, the letter was a photocopy of a letter that had clearly seen a lot of handling. There were fold marks through several lines, rendering them impossible to read, and, well, to put it nicely, the man did not have the best handwriting.

Ahem.

Anyway, I was able to suss out the gist of the letter;  a quick Google search of some of the specifics in the which led us to the conclusion that it was written by a Boston resident who had helped to guide numerous settlers along the trail to the gold mines of California. Once we had that established, I set the Cub loose on his paper, editing and making suggestions as he completed each section.

Yesterday, while making the drive to Mayberry (more on that in another post), the Cub informed me that we he had gotten a 98% on the paper.

This news came only days after The Teenager texted to inform me that the English paper I helped her with earned a B+.

I've still got it.

And I can write it in cursive.

On that note: I fear for this generation. Like, seriously.

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