Handwriting: Outdated Now?

When I was attending my second high school, one of the rules was handwritten homework isn’t allowed. Anyone who turned in handwritten work failed the assignment, regardless of if they would’ve passed otherwise. I always thought that was a strange rule, especially since we did most of the classwork with paper and pencil until the school gave students iPads during my second year.

I asked this in a Facebook group of mine and got this question in response: “Would you turn in handwritten work at a job?” My answer to that question was unless I was told otherwise, I would give handwritten work.

Apparently, that’s not a good idea. Handwritten work is seen as unprofessional (despite that writing takes more work than typing…), so it isn’t acceptable in jobs. That leads me to this question: why was handwriting ever taught to children in the first place?

Yes, that’s a serious question. If school is supposed to prepare children to hold jobs as adults, why was handwriting taught when I was growing up? My elementary school years were a decade ago, so not that long. Shouldn’t I have never been taught how to write in the first place if it’s unacceptable? And why is it still being taught today? I once read an article about how many recent high school graduates have poor reading and writing skills. I don’t know about the reading, but if handwriting is no longer acceptable, it makes why they’d have poor writing skills. They don’t need them.

I have to admit it’s something that makes me sad and little less optimistic about the future. In another decade, maybe less, handwriting will be an obsolete skill, if it isn’t already. That means there will someday be a whole generation that has never learned how to write or has never heard of handwriting. I understand why if it’s a needless skill, but I can’t say it doesn’t make me question my own early education years. Since I don’t plan to have kids, this isn’t I need to be concerned about. It’s merely me trying to adjust the world becoming more and more digitized. I was prepared for typing to be alongside handwriting, not its replacement.

I can’t find it right now, but I remember seeing a political (?) cartoon where two kids were in class and had books. One kid turned to his friend and asked what it was and how to turn it on. I initially rolled my eyes and scoffed at it, but maybe the artist of that cartoon isn’t so far off the mark. Sure, books are typed instead of handwritten, but I can see a kid looking at handwriting, perhaps finding a picture of it on the internet, and asking how they type it instead of how they write it.

Handwriting becoming obsolete also makes me understand giving very small children tablets. I always found that weird because tablets, even ones specifically designed for children, are expensive and small kids are gluttons are clumsiness and accidents. But if they’re going to type their work, whether it’s on an iPad or a computer, instead of writing on paper, little kids do need tablets. At the very least, they have to learn how to type somehow and somewhere.

Personally, I can’t imagine not knowing how to write and despite it becoming an unneeded skill, it’s one I don’t want to lose. At the same time, I suppose it doesn’t matter. If it’s not needed now, it certainly won’t be needed when I’m 30, 40, 55, and so on, assuming I live to those ages. I probably wouldn’t realize I’d lost the ability to write if I ever did, so maybe it’s something I shouldn’t be thinking about at all.

Technology marches on.

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The Age Game

Apologies I continue bringing this up, but this isn’t solely about Winx Club. I promise!

A thought that just came to my mind is the person who told lies about me once said something along the lines of “Enchantix is younger than new viewers”, referring to children today who may like Winx Club. I saw the post because one of my friends reblogged it, so it appeared on my dashboard. Apparently, Enchantix, which came out in 2006, being younger than today’s generation is a reason it should be forgotten.

Maybe I was some kind of oddball child, but when I was a kid, I watched shows and movies that were older than me. In fact, my most favorite cartoon of all time is:

That’s right! Tom & Jerry! I grew up watching this hilarious show, but – get this – I was born in 1994! Tom & Jerry first premiered on February 10, 1940 and the classic collection ended in 1967, 27 years before I was born. How could this wonderful show have been a part of my childhood, the majority of which took place during the 00s decade, if it ended nearly 30 years before I was born? I certainly didn’t have a computer, let alone internet, when I was five years old, but I was so often laughing my little butt off at this show. And no, it wasn’t the new era of the show I was watching. Nope. I saw the classic series on Cartoon Network as a kid. That was the one I watched as I grew up and I still watch it. It runs on Boomerang every night from 12 to 1:30.

Let’s get into movies. My most favorite animation company is Disney. Right now, my most favorite film of theirs is Frozen, but before Queen Elsa and Princess Anna came along, I was obsessed with and adored a certain mermaid. What’s her name? Hmm. What’s the name of that gorgeous, redheaded mermaid with the most beautiful voice Disney created? Oh, right. Her name is…

…Ariel! The Little Mermaid was released in 1989, five years before I was born. I first saw it at the age of 12, when it came out on DVD in 2006, 17 years after its premiere. I watched this film so many times, it’s a wonder the DVD still works. Frozen was released in 2013, 7 years later. Now, how could this lovely mermaid-turned-human have been my favorite princess for 7 years when her film is older than me?

Now that I think about it, how could I have loved the Disney Princess franchise at all? Sure, the franchise didn’t start until 2000, but before 2009, all except two of the princesses’ films were older than me and the two that weren’t came out in 1995 and 1998. I was 1 in 1995 and 3 in 1998, and I had never watched any Disney Princess film until I saw The Little Mermaid in 2006. How would I even know the Disney Princess franchise exists? Ariel alone isn’t proof of that and I sure didn’t beg for everything else Disney simply because I liked Ariel. However, I did have a computer with internet access in 2006. So, can you guess what I did? I went online – gasp! – searched The Little Mermaid, and that search led me to the rest of the princess films and, consequentially, Disney. Voila! Films that are older than me. Watched every one of them online before I got them on DVD because my mother would’ve had my head on a platter if she bought something for me I asked for and I turned out not to like it. Luckily, I did like them and thus began my collection. Isn’t technology great?

Other shows I enjoyed as a kid that are older than me would be Rugrats (began in 1991), Captain Planet (1990), Doug (which started and ended before I was born!), and All That (4/16/94, eleven days before my birth). And yes, I did see the first episode of all of these shows on television. Not when they first premiered, obviously, but on TV.

In regards to Winx Club and today’s children being younger than Enchantix, guess what? Season 3, and Enchantix, is currently showing on the Nick Jr block. At the moment, it’s in the latter half of the season. Sure, it’s Nickelodeon’s dub, but it’s still season 3 with Enchantix. So, today’s kids, if they watch Winx Club, will see Enchantix.

Now, how is that possible if Enchantix first came around in 2006? How could I have seen the first episode of shows that began before I was born if I didn’t have the internet as a kid? Gee, I wonder…

They’re called reruns, people! 😆

Digitization

It goes without saying the world is moving more and more towards being digital. Video games, books, movies, even TV services can all be purchased and used online. Whenever I’d hear adults talking about technology “taking over”, I’ll roll my eyes and think they were stuck in the past, but I feel like I’m beginning to understand why they feel that way.

Someday, there will be no more libraries, no more video game stores, and no more DVDs on the shelves. All those businesses will eventually close because everything they sell will be purchasable online and companies will stop producing physical copies. Writing will become an ancient skill because everyone will type. Some schools have already stopped teaching children penmanship. Personally, I can’t imagine not knowing how to write and it’s a skill I never want to lose, but I understand why handwriting is becoming viewed as a needless skill now. By the time I was in high school, I didn’t have a single teacher who would accept handwritten homework assignments. If you didn’t type it out, you automatically failed, even if the work itself was satisfactory.

I’m well aware digital is more environmentally friendly above all, but knowing what will eventually happen to pastimes like writing and visiting the library depresses me. When I purchase a digital copy of something, I don’t feel like I own it because it’s not in my possession. I have three full shelves of books. I can easily look at them and say they’re mine. But a digital book? Whose is that? Yes, I paid for it, but I don’t have it. The company I bought it from has it. I don’t have any control over what happens to it. The only way someone can steal the physical books I have is by breaking into my home and taking them by force. And even then, it’s unlikely all of them would be stolen, as the shelf is too heavy to be carried safely anywhere while it’s full.

But how would I be protected against having my digital books stolen, if I bought any? Or what if the company pulls the books from their site or end up going out of business? I lose all of my books and I don’t get my money back. Thus, I’d have to buy the entire collection again rather than just the few I lost.

Progress can’t be stopped, so it’s not like I’m attempting to fight against it. I like technology very much. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a computer or any consoles or a cell phone. I’m far from a technophobe. At the same time, I don’t want technology to take over everything. I want to still read at library, shop for games and DVDs at the store, and buy pens and pencils to write in my diary. Yes, I understand these are sentimental reasons, but there are also sentimental reasons for going digital. Not having to leave your home, not having to use up space, and so on. For people who prefer that, the world going digital probably borders on feeling like a gift from the heavens.

I also wonder how far it’s going to go. I feel like it won’t stop at digital libraries and typing instead of handwriting. I’ve read that my generation is the last that regularly played outside. Now, I do still see children playing outside, but not often and not many. I used to find the idea ludicrous, but now I truly believe it’s possible technology will someday allow people to never need to leave their homes. That someday, playgrounds and parks will be torn down due to abandonment and games like tag and hide & seek will become unheard of because all children will know are digital games. I hope so much I’m wrong, but it’s no longer far-fetched for me. I can picture it happening.

I realize I’m probably being a hypocrite in coming out with all of this. I used to say people who hate technology were stuck in the past and yet, I now sound like I’m stuck in the past. I don’t hate technology, but the feeling is the same. Everything will eventually be digitized and I’m going to miss times before that occurred. As dramatic as it may sound, I almost hope I don’t live long enough to see that. Technology is amazing and I don’t want to live without it, but I also don’t want live without handwriting and hard copies of books, games, and shows. Progress isn’t leaving anyone a choice, however, so for those like me who aren’t so enthusiastic, we can only suck it up and hope for the best, whatever that could be.

Windows 10? It’ll Keep Waiting.

Several weeks ago, I reserved a free upgrade for Windows 10. I figured since it’s the most recent version, I should have it. However, shortly after I received my copy, I started having second thoughts.

First off, the only reason I have Windows 8 is due to buying a new computer. I honestly prefer Windows 7. Windows 8’s format belongs on a tablet, not a computer. Second, I read about people having several problems with Windows 10. Such as:

  • Losing everything on their PC, even after selecting the option to keep it (yes, I know you’re warned to back up your stuff, but if they include an option to let you keep your stuff and that doesn’t even work, it sounds like Windows 10 is busted)
  • Their computer becoming very sluggish or freezing completely.
  • Certain games no longer working due to incompatibility with Windows 10, even after it was stated those games would continue working

It might be a short list of problems, but they’re pretty severe ones. So far, the only reasons I’ve read for updating to Windows 10 refer to visual appeal and as nice that is, it’s not worth those problems above. Even if I do back up my stuff, I’d be extremely angry if the upgrade wiped out everything. If I wanted to wipe out all of my data, I’d do a factory reset on my computer.

I think the only way I’ll get Windows 10 is the same way I got Windows 8 – if I buy a new computer. Since this computer is working well, that’ll be a long time away, if it ever happens. Until then, my copy is going to keep waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

Things I Will Never Do

In eight months, I will be 21 years old. I can hardly believe it. I still remember being five years old and thinking of how long it would take me to get up here. It did take longer, but I miss being smaller. At least then, I could be picked up and carried. The only reason I hate being carried is I’m too big.

Regardless of how old I get, however, there are some things I have sworn to never do in my life, no matter how bad it gets or how I bored I get. Note that I have no general negative opinion of people who choose to do and enjoy these things. I’m simply choosing not to.

  • Drugs. That means alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and whatever else falls under that list that won’t be used for a medical reason. I’ve had enough alcohol and cigarettes in my life. Heck, I live with a smoker! When I finally have my own place, no smoking will be permitted at all. Absolutely zero!
  • Clubbing/Wild parties. I’d rather give myself a concussion than ever do either of these. I hate loud noise, I hate crowds, I hate flashiness, and I hate dancing. Plus, these events are notorious for having people who spike your drink. Any place where I have to worry about someone drugging me is out of the question. No exceptions.
  • Casual sex. This is if I ever have sex at all. But even if I were not an ace, I’d never have a sexual casual relationship, regardless of how much I trusted that person. Sex is not something I ever want to think of the way I think about what I’m having for dinner.
  • Anything I know is dangerous. I don’t care if you only live once. I’m not going to do something I know is guaranteed to get me killed if I go ahead with it. That means things like skydiving and such. I know safety is taken into consideration with stunts like that, but frankly, I’m not willing to risk my life for a thrill.
  • Try to keep up with the latest fads. While I like my electronics and whatnot, the truth is I couldn’t care less about keeping up with the newest device. If I genuinely wanted a new one, I might go for the latest, but if the one I currently have is working absolutely fine, I’m not going to run out and grab another just because it’s newer.
  • Buy new things just for the sake of having new stuff. This applies to clothing. While I will buy something here and there, I will never toss out my whole wardrobe and buy a new one because it’s old or out of style. Really, I’ve never cared for fashion trends. If the clothes still fit and aren’t torn, there’s no reason to throw them out.
  • Fight. I have been a pacifist since I was in my early teens. The only fighting I like is play-fighting, and even that, I tire of quickly.
  • Own a weapon. In regards to violence, the only thing I hate more than fighting are weapons. Particularly guns, but not only them. They’re also not going to be allowed in my house when I’m on my own (not that my relatives I live with have any). I don’t care how properly handled they are. If it’s something typically used for killing, get it away from me!