Thursday, April 3, 2008


I was explaining to someone how my teacher Ron Laufer went about the presentation to schools on career day. Each person was given a 5" by 8" card and told to write a silly sentence then sign and print their name. He went on to ask who knew what graphology was and we would get some wild responses. After explaining that graphology was also known as handwriting analysis he would ask if they had ever made decisions about a person based on their handwriting. Usually one or two people would remark on someones writing that they had seen.
Next he would bring several people to the front of class (to their embarassment) and just let them form a line. Based on the line formed he would point out how raggedy or straight it was and comment on the space between them. He would point out how alone each one seemed to be or if two or three were friends and clustered together how they seemed to be supporting each other even if they didn't actually touch. He would then have them hold hands and spread out evenly and comment on how much friendlier that looked. After dismissing them to their seats he would explain that printers will normally say they print because it is faster or because their cursive writing is so bad but that the starts and stops actually take longer. He also explained printing takes the emotion out of what is written as there is no flow to the writing. When a printer does sometimes connect letters this shows they want to be friendly but are afraid of being rebuffed. Printing where some of the letters lean against each other is an indication the writer feels the need for emotional support.
Back to basics he would tell them about the connectors between letters. Actually there are six in all but the ones usually seen are the garlands those little waves or cups between letters. The angle connector where there is an abrupt change of direction between the end of one letter and the start of the next. An arcade is the next common connector where the end of a letter goes up and over to the next letter. Garlands are friendly, angles analytical and arcades creative as well as self protective.
After asking for questions and answering them we would wander the room stopping to comment on different writings. He especially loved the really messy ones and the angles. Of the angle writer (usually a boy) he would say to the teacher "he always wants to know how and why something works doesn't he? If he picked up something that gave him a shock he will never-the-less do it over and over until he figures it out". Of the messy writer he would say "oh boy the hormones are raging". These kids need the most help but often rebuff it for fear of being let down so he would find something good to say about the writing and encourage them to accept help when offered or to ask for it when needed.
By the time we got out we had gone over everyone's writing, including the teacher, and sometimes we could tell the kids "to your teacher you are his or her kids so if you think she is hard on you it is because he or she knows you can do the job and wants you to prove it".
Forty-five minutes is not a lot of time to explain something as complex as graphology but the class was always full when we came and everyone had interesting questions or comments.

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