A Spider Crawled out of an Inkwell…

Yes, the subject for today is handwriting, particularly the poor quality of my handwriting. I suppose the title shows my age – these days nobody would refer to bad handwriting looking like a drunken spider had fallen into an inkwell and crawled across a sheet of paper.

How many people reading this post have ever used an inkwell? And even if you have used one, how much actual writing on paper do you do these days? I don’t even write cheques. All I do is shopping lists, and I do those in block capitals so I can read them. When I was gardening one of my customers complained that whenever I wrote her a message it always looked like a ransom note.

As you may have guessed, I’ve been having problems reading my own writing.

My first memory regarding criticism of my writing is of being told off because it was large and childishly formed. This was in the village school I attended in Lincolnshire. My memories of it are not positive. On one occassion I was shaken and thrown to the floor because I had failed to memorise my multiplication tables over the weekend. There was not a lot of modern educational theory in place, the system being as Victorian as the schoolroom.

I wasn’t physically punished for my writing, the teacher merely called the headmaster (her husband) through from the other classroom so that he could shout at me.

My writing was too big, even I could see that, but it was just how I’d been taught at my previous two schools. I expect it was also childish, though I can’t really remember, as I was only seven at the time.

From that day on, until I left school, the only major complaint I recall was that my writing was too small.

The headmaster, by the way, was given four years for indecently assaulting a couple of girl pupils shortly after we moved away. Standards in educational recruitment have, I suspect, been improved over the years.

Since leaving school, I have rarely needed to do much writing, most of my written work being based on tick sheets and simple arithmetic. I don’t use cheques and a computer does the rest of my writing.

The current situation is that the only writing I do is my “to do” list, which I write every Sunday. And forget every Monday.

I’ve just been looking at the one from last week.

Most of them are easy enough, and even the instruction to “bug now sosks” isn’t too challenging, but reviewing the “forgetting boof” might be a little more difficult. “Boof” is clearly something that needs reviewing, so it’s a book, but I haven’t a clue which one it is. It’s not about forgetting, as I don’t have a book on that subject. At least I don’t remember having one. I’m going to have to go through the book pile and work it out by a process of deduction.

 

25 thoughts on “A Spider Crawled out of an Inkwell…

  1. beatingthebounds

    Our desks had lids and storage beneath and lots of names carved in to them and a hole for a bottle of ink, but we used pencils. We also had a primary school teacher who wasn’t averse to rapping the back of your head with a book, or the palm of your hand with a ruler (that really hurt, but at least you knew it was coming unlike the book). Bizarrely, he was one of my favourite teachers, because if you kept on his good side, his lessons were always interesting, he had a real flair for teaching art and he encouraged us to research topics which we found interesting ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Ah, memories, and thrown chalk and board rubbers. The best teachers weren’t necessarily the the ones you would expect. I was punished several times by being made to sand down and evarnish desks.

      Like

      Reply
      1. beatingthebounds

        I once commented to a class about not being allowed to throw things. I taught some of the same students four years later and they still remembered my offhand comment – they thought the idea of a teacher throwing things so outlandish. How times have changed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie Graves

    Ah, the good old days. After reading your post, I realized that there are some things better about today’s schools. I, too, went to a school where kids were shaken and hit. I’m not sure about thrown to the floor. I do remember seeing a fist fight between a student and one of the teachers. The student had been in eighth grade—the highest grade before high school—a year or two longer than he should have.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Lavinia Ross

      A relative of mine was beaten up by a teacher and made to eat chalk in front of the other kids. Glad things have changed over the years. Too bad we can’t keep the best of the old ways along with the best of the new and discard the rest.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. Clare Pooley

    We weren’t allowed to use pens in my primary school. My grammar school still had inkwells in the desks and during my first year there they were still being filled from large bottles kept in the stationery cupboard. After that first year we were allowed to bring our own ink or use cartridge pens and the school stopped providing ink. Shortly after that, we all started using biros because they were cheaper and the school couldn’t do much about it.
    I still write a fair amount. I keep a diary and write all the usual lists that you mentioned. I also still write letters to a few friends and acquaintances.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      We were actually issued with biros at the Lincolnshire village school (despite my comments on Victorianism) but we were only allowed to use them in certain lessons. From 1966, when we moved to Peterborough I don’t recall ever using a dip pen again, though I did have several fountain pens. Strange how different areas had different systems. My parents kept some of my old school work, and that shows I used a lot of pencils too – though apart from the sharpener on the teacher’s desk I don’t remember much about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. tootlepedal

    In my days if you were really good, you could get to go round and fill up the inkwells. I don’t think that I ever did it. I can quite sympathise with your handwriting problems. I expect to be arrested for fraudulent cheques as even my signature has grown indistinguishable. Mind you, my typing errors are flourishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I rely on spellcheckers to sort out my typing. When texting I tend to find my fingers, whilst too large for the touchscreen, are more accurate than tredictive text. As for being ink monitor, I’m with you in nver being picked.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s