Sunday, June 8, 2014

Periodically I have the opportunity to watch the WYCC Chicago TV show “The Professors”.  As suggested by the title, this show has a panel of professors, led by a moderator, who discuss a different educational topic for each episode.  Recently, they debated whether cursive writing should still be taught in schools.  I learned cursive writing in 2nd grade and still use it to this day but I also use a computer a fair amount of the time, both personally and professionally.  Since I use both, where do I stand?  My answer lies in the action I took in preparing this blog entry:  I immediately reached for a pen and paper instead of my laptop.  I use pen and paper when I am just beginning to think about a topic; when I am stuck in my thinking; when I want to slow down my thinking; and when I am writing personal reflections.  Even for academic writing, if a thought flashes across my mind I do not want to wait till my laptop boots up or type a note in my Evernote app but rather just grab pen and paper because it’s always close by.  There is nothing like using a pen (or pencil) to write out your own words and seeing the ink form your words on the paper right in front of you.  To me, it feels more personal than using your fingers to strike keys on a keyboard so that characters appear on the screen in front of you.  I recognize that computers save a tremendous amount of time (both for the writer and reader) and admit that they have helped me better organize my writing.  In the end, I view computers and pen / paper as writing tools and which one to use depends on the type of writing undertaken by the writer.  

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