Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The dumbing down of America

Nothing makes me madder than to hear people and especially educators say handwriting is obsolete because with technology we will all be using computers and won't need to write. This is just another cop-out because the teachers would rather have school work turned in that has been done on a computer than to spend the time to decipher everyones handwriting. We have whole generations who were not taught properly how to write and no, printing is not easier to read or faster! And surprise surprise not everyone can afford a computer or to spend time or get to the library to use their computers.

Also I was reading just a few days ago that the USA has dropped from being the best educated people in the world because places like China, India and Japan push their children so hard to excel in things besides sports, like in the sciences and technology.

Instead we let the school systems throughout the country lower test requirements so more of the students can pass. Arizona adopted the AIMS tests literally 6 years ago and still many of our students cannot pass it even though it is a requirement to graduate. In fact, our school system here is so bad we have as many if not more charter schools than public schools now. Enough at any rate that the public school system cannot support all of the schools because they no longer get enough state and federal funding.

We mistakenly thought schools would improve if the teacher pay raises were tied to the percentage of children doing well and graduating. Instead the number of children put on Ritalin for behavior problems went up, teens learned it was better to skip a class than show up late and suspensions were handed out for little reason. And remember study hall where you were expected to STUDY? A thing of the past! If you get sent to study hall, now called detention, you are allowed no books, paper or writing impliments it is literally confinement and nothing else. What a waste of time, a teacher or monitor and minds.
I myself had two grand children who started out well in school. The boy brought home papers with excellent marks until he reached third grade where he was put on Ritalin and labeled ADHD. After that everything that went wrong in class he was singled out even before the facts were known. His parents kept on him because he was in trouble at school so by the time he reached middle school he had given up and after a few months he dropped out. As for the girl she was on the honor roll and approached by colleges while still in middle school. Then between the AIMS test and a suspension for smoking (at a nearby shopping mall) quit high school and settled for a GED.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Scientist's writing

I was asked in 2007 to analyze the writing of several scientists with the purpose being to write an article for one of the scientific journals. The professor who asked for my help explained the people were all deceased but he knew of a colleague or family member who could comment on what I said about each. As it turned out he was running out of time for his article and had only heard from one person.
Now to me the comments verified all I said about the scientist who turned out to be Linus Pauling. But as the professor took pains to say: "Most scientists would probably dismiss it as a "pseudo-science" and catagorize it along with astrology and phrenology, claiming they have little or no basis in fact. Despite the lack of scientific proof on the value of handwriting analysis, the writings of well-known public figures have long been of interest and have often been studied as a means of inferring personality traits from the writer. And the article was turned down.
I said the writer had a great thirst for knowledge and was a collector though the writing would not show what he collected facts, ideas, friends, or material possessions. The comment was that Pauling had a large library of journals and books as well as a mineral collection given to him by Oppenheimer but he didn't know if that qualified him as a collector. Also that he certainly had an enormous number of friends, colleagues and facts.
I said the writer wrote with such enthuasium his brain got ahead of his hand causing him to make mistakes in him impatience. The comment was that Pauling seemed to be a most patient person although he expressed impatience in his writings of the reluctance of the medical authorities to accept his arguments for vitamin C.
I spoke of his great desire to acquire knowledge and to investigate the known and that the desire might make it hard for him to sleep as his brain would not switch off easily. The comment was that it was true about his desire to investigate and understand nature though he had no idea if Pauling had trouble sleeping. In fact he says Pauling himself wrote that he had a method of thinking about intractable problems before sleep and how an answer would occur spontaneously. He believed the unconscious mind worked on the problem during sleep. (My point exactly.)
My comment was that the writer could be moody and worked best alone or with machines. The response was that this was somewhat true as many papers were authored solely by Pauling and that he enjoyed using his calculator and solving equations.
Again I said the writer enjoyed intellectual or philosophical discussions but being opinionated and stubborn could not be easily swayed from his point of view. The response was that Pauling had well-deserved confidence in his own intellectual abilities and knowledge. Critics usually had a hard time debating him because of his often superior intellect or command of the facts. Also he rarely, if ever, backed down from a fight.
I commented that the writer could be sarcastic and critical of others and when considering his arguments might even talk to himself or hold complete conversations in his mind. His colleague said he did not know if he talked to himself and that Pauling seldom used sarcasm but he could be very critical if he thought someone was wrong. He especially liked to find errors in published papers.
As to my comment that the writer was proud, secretive about his personal life and sensitive to criticism of his work or person. The response was that this was somewhat true as Pauling was a proud but not prideful man. That he wasn't especially secretive about his personal life but he preferred to talk about science.
I said he enjoyed a challenge but would have issues with the opposite sex so a female working under him would have to endure his nit picking and criticism while the female who attracted him would be one who shows the least interest or challenges him. The response was that Pauling was old-fashioned being a product of the early 20th Century. He often said his wife should have shared his Nobel Peace Prize as she was smarter then he. During most of his career women were largely excluded from academia but he had an excellent relationship with his secretary and assistant of many years.
I said his sense of humor was of a wry witty type and that he showed will power, determination and a tendency to be abrupt. The only comment to this was true.
This is only part of my analysis and the comments but as scientists consider Graphology a pseudo-science it was turned down by the journal.
Only one other name was revealed to me...Rutherford but the one I really would like to know is the 5th scientist as that handwriting was not at all suited to the field. This writer had the soul of a poet and if they had to work daily in a career they were so ill suited for it must have been torture.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Grandma Again

This is far off the track of handwriting but I am so excited. Kaitlyn Marie made her debut on Thurs April 10th 2008 weighing in at 6 lb, 9 oz, and measuring 19 inches.

I was asked who posed her hands and actually she did. Only a few hours old she is really beautiful and has hit several "poses" in her moving and stretching.

At the moment both big sisters Elizabeth and Annalise are wanting to hold her and take care of her. Not sure if its her size or what but actually Annalise who is the younger holds her best .

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.