Will Handwriting Become a Lost Art Form?

Will Handwriting Become a Lost Art Form?

Writing chart compliments of my childhood friend Tracey Lee from her Facebook post


I couldn’t finish writing this entire note (below) as I soon tired of writing by hand. 😦


Dear Reader,

Recently my friend Tracey Lee posed a picture on Facebook of the cursive handwriting letters taught back in elementary school for most of us non-digital natives. I decided to try and write this note using those conventions to see how well I could actually do it. This task was made even extra-special as I used the writing paper commonly found in the educational institutions in Chile. It’s not the American college-ruled paper, but in fact the type of paper typically used in schools for graphing.

Quite surprised would be an understatement, particularly since I didn’t realize how the capital letter “Q” was actually supposed to be written. Capital Z and lower case k also required special care and attention to write. Oh dear, what is to happen to our upcoming digital natives who have learned more use of computers and iphones versus handwritten letters? For all I know, some of these letters may in fact be connected incorrectly. Wow! The adaptive changes we make in writing, language, and life, I find most fascinating.





Instagram seemed to have caught wind of their penmanship error changing their logo in 2013

What does the evolution of communication tell us about the future and our ability to adapt to it?

Continued 7/4/14.  I’m realizing that if I don’t blog on a topic right away it’s easy to get “lost-in-the-sauce” that is my life.  I think our communication forms have expanded to include more of our spatial (i.e., visual) intelligence, such that the written word does not evoke the level of emotion that a meme or picture does for digital natives.  Additionally, most communication forms that are not so dependent on the written text, appear to circulate more widely in the era of the internet and technology.  Taking time to hand write a note is becoming quaint and will likely go the way of the carrier pigeon for delivering love letters.  Ha ha!  Why write a note when you can communicate your love in a Vine or YouTube video.   Perhaps a bit cynical, but nonetheless likely true.

What are the potential consequences?

I recently watched the movie “Her” starring the actor Joaquin Phoenix.  He developed an emotionally intense relationship with essentially a voice in a supposed “smart” computer program that responded to human cues.  The outcome of the “relationship” caused him and others using the technology to experiences a kind of weird cognitive dissonance as all of the computers just suddenly informed users that they were going away, leaving their bewildered lovers along to process their emotional turmoil “como a/el sola/o“.  This led me to think that perhaps there is a dangerous potential in our disconnectedness of not “touching” each other in meaningful ways like a handwritten note.  Our only communicating with each other via technical forms like the internet and blogs (again irony) is sorta inhumane.

Nevertheless, this new reality and our changing social context reminds me to be sure to reconnect with those that I love and care about in authentic ways.  I know that the birthday cards and little notes that I physically send to my nephews at times (with money included) and handwritten notes were likely tossed on a table somewhere and the cash quickly pocketed.  But, I also know (in my minds eye) that in reflection, when talking to my great great great grandnephews, they will tell the story about how Aunt Lisa’s $50 bucks came right on time, just when they needed it; and they’ll muse about how much I will never know how that simple message contained within a handwritten note on those cards blessed them right when they needed a kind, heart-felt word of encouragement. That’s my fantasy and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

Lattes and Letters

Great dissection of the emerging “profit generating” nature taking place in higher education under the auspices of workforce development.


This week Starbucks and Arizona State University announced a joint tuition-degree type-ish plan. I am not sure what to call it because it’s a hybrid of what we consider employee sponsored tuition reimbursement plans, workforce development programs at universities, and some kind of technofuturist vision of higher education access. So, in the way of my people, I’m just adding “-ish” to the term and moving on.

Goldie Blumenstyk did her good reporting thing over at CHE by following the money in the corporate-uni deal. To quote Goldie quoting ASU leaders who should know:

Starbucks also had said that the program would include an upfront “partial tuition scholarship,” thanks to an “investment” from Starbucks and ASU. Ms. Harper on Monday said she was “not able to disclose the specifics of the financial arrangement” of that investment.

But according to Arizona State’s president, Michael M. Crow, “none” of the funding for the…

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Feliz día de Padres (Happy Fathers’ Day)

Feliz día de Padres (Happy Father's Day)

We have so much respect, love, and appreciation for our Daddy.

Where do I begin to share with you all about the awesomeness of our father? My Dad’s nickname growing up was “Sonny”, and my little sister Keasha always says… “Everybody should have a little Sonny Brown in their life.” Today, more than any other time, I concur with her assessment. We are very blessed to still have both of our parents; because many people find celebratory days like this one very difficult to experiences. I greatly empathize with that reality and whoever is readying this and misses their father, I invite you to share mine in this short blog exchange.

I have always been a self-proclaimed “Daddy’s Girl” and I am sure that few in my immediate family would disagree with me about that position. All of my siblings and Mom tell me that emotionally, I am very much like my Dad who I would describe as walk softly, but carry a big stick if people start trippin’!! Ha ha.  My father and I have always seemed to have a mental, intellectual, and spiritual connection that allowed us to communicate without words.

My parents were very young when they married (around 19 years old) and at times it seemed that we were growing-up right alongside these young parents. In my opinion there was only an upside to that reality. There are numerous stories I could tell about how my father has been there for his family, from the time he helped me manage my asthma as a youngster by encouraging me to run with him down by Summit Lake at 6 am in the mornings, to the time he walked from his factory job returning home with actual icicles hanging from his nose as he had to walk home from Barberton, Ohio when his car broke down. Because of my Daddy’s encouragement during my early years, I went on to become a star-athlete in junior high and high school in track and field earning a silver medal in Junior Olympics competition and breaking a school record in the hurdles as a teenager. My father supported and encouraged us not only in our extracurricular activities, but also in our academic and spiritual development. I remember my father attentively reading my papers during my undergraduate and graduate years in college and he remains today the smartest and wisest person I have ever known. These are not simply the musings of a daughter holding larger-than-life exaggerations of her father; because there are easily 5 more sibling corroborators along with a long host of grandchildren who can attest to how very special and wonderful our Daddy (and Grandpa) has been and continues to be.

One of the few pictures of our Daddy as a teenager.

One of the few pictures of our Daddy as a teenager.

My Dad is the oldest of seven siblings and only he and my Aunt Bev are still on this natural earthly plane with us out of that group. I can only image the heartache associated with the transitioning of your parents and most of your siblings that my father has endured.  Nevertheless, my father’s spirit and dignity always allows us as a family to remain both mentally and emotionally strong during some of the toughest challenges in our lives.

Of course, there were times when I thought both of my parents were out of touch as a youngster growing up, believing that they simply didn’t understand how things are changing in “The World”. But, I have come to realize as an adult that my Dad’s claims (as per King Solomon) that there is nothing new under the sun have been pretty accurate, and that although technology and innovation has introduced new complexities in life, human beings maintain a consistent type of character that if you are attentive, you can learn how best to negotiate. Ultimately, wisdom is the principle thing with my Daddy (1 Kings 4:29; Proverbs 4:7). It is because of my father that I always had big dreams and was never afraid to pursue them. Words cannot express the joy I felt being able to Skype with my Dad from Chile and sharing with him my excitement about traveling to another country in the pursuit of my PhD.

So, in order to try and wrap up this post and honor to my father I have to say that the “true” blog post would be much too long in my effort to describe how my father has always been a man of quiet dignity and strength for all of his children. He teaches and examples to us the virtues of hard work, family support, loyalty, and how placing God as the head of your life can greatly assist in directing for you a prosperous path. So on this special date, I pause to thank God for my Daddy and every time I see his smile, hear his laugh, or listen to him pray, I am every more appreciative to be his daughter. ¡Te quiero mucho Papi! Gracias por todos. ❤  🙂

photo 2

With the help of my daughter I could Skype and laugh with my Daddy and Mommy from Chile

Father's Day2

Saturday family homemade Ice Cream scoops with Daddy pre-Father’s Day


It was perfect weather today for our get together BBQ in order to celebrate the awesome Father’s in our families.

Happy Father’s Day to all who call or know you as you Daddy

Obama, Noting Own Student Debt Burden, Expands Repayment Cap and Pushes Bill – NYTimes.com

Obama, Noting Own Student Debt Burden, Expands Repayment Cap and Pushes Bill – NYTimes.com.


This is very good news for US American students looking to obtain a higher education without going into spirit-crushing financial debt.  I believe the education of citizens in an industrialized and prosperous nation, like the USA, should be accessible to those who want it.  That belief is particularly true for those wanting a higher education in our colleges and universities.