Friday, May 9, 2014

Cursive Is Cool Contest

The American Handwriting Analysis Foundation's Campaign For Cursive held a writing contest in the first months of 2014 for students in first through 6th grade with separate prizes for boys and girls. They had entries from 12 states and one teacher was interested enough in the project to make it a class assignment. What I found most interesting is the children themselves gave the best reasons for teaching cursive. If they understand this why do the adults have such a hard time with the concept. Each child was given three questions to choose from for their response. If you could get anyone's autograph whose would you like to have? What do you like about cursive? And what do you do cool with cursive? The answers on why you like cursive more often than not said it is faster because you don't need to lift your pen from the paper until you reach the end of the word. Another often heard was the loops mean the writing flows easily across the paper unlike printing with it's starts and stops. A few said it's faster because you don't have to go back and fix backwards letters. One boy even commented that people value you more when you can write cursive. An interesting observation for a child. When it came to the question on autographs one child said he planned on being an athletic star someday so he planned to practice his signature until then. Another said they wanted to be able to read cards or letters from grandparents and historical documents. Those of us who study handwriting know it activates other parts of the brain, is faster and promotes fine motor skills. The students also understood this but teachers and politicians do not. They claim because of technology handwriting, especially cursive, is irrelevant but they are so wrong and the students know it because they feel it when they write. Quite a lot of the entries were from homeschooled students and their writing was really good.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cursive or not

Right now there is so much discussion on dropping cursive writing in schools and strictly teaching printing and keyboarding, they don't even call it typing anymore. Let me say that no matter what is eventually decided the most important thing that is always over looked is how to properly hold your writing instrument. When you hold your pen or pencil in a death grip or a fist or with your fingers so tight the segments go white your will never be able to write for long or well. Back in the dark ages when I learned to write we had to practice even this and were told to ignore the ring and little finger of the writing hand, hold the pencil on top of the middle finger keeping it in position with the thumb then rest the pointer finger on top of the pencil. To see if we were doing this properly we had to move the pencil up and then down using only the pointer finger. when you start to write the two ignored fingers will find a comfortable place out of the way, usually just curled in toward the palm. Then you rest you hand lightly on the desk, table, whatever so so your hand can move smoothly across the page moving from the elbow and not the wrist. There are a couple of other versions that are acceptable but this one has worked the best for the most people. Research had shown that the brain works differently when you write in cursive than when you print. It increases concentration and focus among other things. So many of our children are now diagnosed with ADHD etc and I firmly believe this is because our children do not have the freedoms we enjoyed of running free and playing all over the neighborhood. If we got caught doing things that were dangerous or unacceptable there was a mom or neighbor to call us out for it or report to mom and dad. Now we can barely let our children play in their own yards and PE in grade school is limited to walking around the track field. If you have time and money you may get your kids into softball, peewee football or soccer but not all can afford that. And I'm sure all the hormones and growth stuff in our food adds to the changes. However, cursive writing has many hidden values. First learning to control the pen or pencil teaches focus and control. Think about this as well, cursive letters reach out each to the next and make a connection while printed letters stand alone having no contact or support, The letter forms also give subliminal messages when properly formed. Then once you can make the letters without having to consciously think about them the personality starts to show even more in the writing. And there are short exercises which can be done with pen and paper to help focus before a test, to make you more observant, to calm you and one to relieve stress and headaches. But back to cursive, the circle letters a and o in particular are letters of communication so to close them properly tells us to be silent in class while those left open mean you are probably in trouble for talking too much. The t and d are made with the stem a retraced line, up and down in the same spot, with the t crossing at least 3/1 high on the stem. Again control in the stem and the crossing is your goals. Too low and you set no goals, too high and your may daydream setting yourself up for failure. The e is considered the listening letter. If the loop is closed you do not want to hear what others have to say, if too open you are gullible and easily persuaded often into doing the wrong things. An e that is open but not to any extreme shows you want to hear others viewpoint and information while a combination in your writing shows you listen when the information is important to you but otherwise it's in one ear and out the other. This is just a small portion of what cursive handwriting can do for your children when taught in school. I wrote a monograph titled "The Alphabet Speaks" showing hundreds of variations of the letters and what they indicate about the writer. For those of you interested in having one contact me at hwexpert@gmail.com

Monday, August 2, 2010

Left versus Right handed writing

It is easy to assume that a left handed person would have a back slant to their writing but this is not necessarily true. In fact, the only clue we may have that the writing belongs to a lefty is the right to left T bar. Just notice how you place your paper to get the slant you like. Each of us finds the placement that works best for us. A left handed person has more trouble finding a comfortable pen grip and paper slant and having to write in a notebook or spiral book has to be h***. At least now with gel pens they no longer have to drag their hand through wet ink.
When it comes to the analysis the basics are the same for everyone. Allowance will be made for that backwards T bar because it is a stroke taken for convenience.The rest of the strokes we make are because of our mood, personality and character not because of which hand we use to write.

Friday, July 16, 2010

LOOPS

It's been quite awhile since I last wrote on my blog so I have decided to address one component of writing Loops.
Loops are important an component in your writing. Any loops out of place (such as at the bottom of the lines forming the m or on the first part of a cursive y) are called worry loops. My mother's writing had so many loops I once told her "you would worry if you thought you had nothing to worry about".
Loops in the upper zone (above the writing that sits on the baseline) indicates imagination. This can mean fantasy, daydreams, unique ideas, or interest in many philosophies and ideas. Depending upon which letter the loop is part of it can also indicate being fearful, being too open to the influence of others, or of being paranoid or manic.
Loops dropping below the baseline are going into the sub-conscious where they can indicate sexual fantasy, desire for physical activity, a love of art, color and textures, or a desire for material possessions. Incomplete loops here often indicate frustration, thin loops a lack of trust, small loops show clannishness and lack of a loop altogether show determination and a desire to go forward.
Odd, damaged or twisted loops also have meaning but these must be carefully considered according to which area of the writing occurs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Historical writings

Went to an AHAF meeting tonight to see a presentation by Lynn Monroy. Being from Sioux City Iowa she had grown up with the stories of Lewis and Clark and the only man in their unit who died on their two year trek to find a passage to the Pacific across the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. One reason she had started her project was the fact that the journal of Sargent Charles Floyd had been found after 91 years.
Sgt. Floyd was a healthy, strong 20 year old at the start of the trip in May, one of nine young men chosen to accompany Lewis and Clark. The two Sargent's with the unit were charged with journaling the journey. Sgt Floyd started his journal in May a bit tentatively but as time went on you could see he gained confidence in being able to handle his responsibilities but in July he became ill and his writing disintegrated. It is possible to see from the writing the days he felt better as well as the days he truly struggled through the day and in Aug. he suddenly died apparently of appendicitis.
After her presentation Lynn shared with us a project she is working on for her family using family photos and cards, letters and various writing from each person to build a story of their life for the grand children. This will be a great legacy for the children and I know from letters I found after my parents died how much you can learn about the people from the past who had a hand in shaping your parents and their parents through the handwriting.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Verifying a writing

Last year I was asked to help verify a historical document and was given a page of the document along with 4 pages of the person it was hoped wrote the document. The person asking for the verification had done some of the work trying to prove his case but not enough. There are some letters similar in both writings but they may have been copybook at that time period. To make comparison even harder the questioned document was on parchment, written probably with a quill instead of a pen, and the writing was done smaller. After much work I concluded the document was not written by the person we hoped and gave my reasons for this conclusion. But I sure would like to learn who actually did write the document.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is handwriting analysis universal?

This past year I have had a chance to work with a lady in India as well as a gentleman in Indonesia who are fairly new to graphology. So I can say from experience this has held true. I had a chance to cruise as a guest-lecturer one spring and was worried about running into foreign writing and if I could correctly interpret it. Luckily I did not run into any at that time but after working with these graphologists I have seen first hand that the rules do work even for foreign writing as long as it is based on the Latin alphabet.
The writing in other countries may have more upright slants but this is becoming true in the USA as well. As people print more than they use cursive the whole world is becoming a place of disconnection to one another. People try to hide their feelings in an effort to not be hurt or hide themselves in work often shutting out family as well as the world.
My great grand daughter's school has a big sheet hung in the hall and each year all of the children and teacher's write their names upon it. I love looking it over as you see the personality of so many of the children just in the placement of the name. There is Victorio whose parents have made practice his handwriting so it is very clear and legible but to be different he wrote in such a way his name is upside down. Or Elizabeth who managed to be near the very center of the sheet. She's the one who wants to be a rock star and the center of attention. Then there is timid little Karrie Ann who signed in the corner. So even with this big sheet you get a feel for how placement of your writing on a page can say a lot about your personality.