Gone are the days of women having elegant handwriting. Gone are the days of teaching handwriting in schools. Thus my generation (and all those after me) have pretty crappy handwriting (I would like to point out, however, that I can type at approximately 90 wpm). My intention of learning calligraphy this year was to simply improve my daily handwriting.
I am constantly writing things, whether it be a hall pass, a post-it note, or modeling a lesson on the board, and I truly believe a teacher should have better handwriting than their students. Now most days I am writing a hall pass to the nurse, jotting a date on the calendar, breaking up a fight and teaching a lesson all in the same three minutes so great handwriting is the last thing on my mind. When I take my time, I can have decent handwriting, but it certainly isn’t anything my grandmas would have written.
This year I have been practicing my calligraphy by using a “how-to” book, watching online videos, and bringing a calligraphy pen to our terribly boring (and often awkward) staff meetings. I’ve found the calligraphy pen keeps me from rolling my eyes or slamming my fist down in frustration and instead makes it looks like I’m painstakingly taking notes.
Today I decided that my final lesson would be to address my Christmas cards with my calligraphy skills. By the second card, I realized I am still a total amateur. The envelopes don’t have nice guiding lines like all my practice papers do! And I haven’t practiced numbers all that much, or tiny letters like a return address would require. I also had the grand plan of writing many, many Christmas cards, but after about eight my hand felt like it would be much more comfortable around a bottle of beer.
At this point, I will continue practicing during our staff meetings, but otherwise it’s time to move on!