December 18, 2001

handwriting lacks discipline

They say that with a Palm Pilot, you can learn to write on it as fast as you can write by hand. I think they greatly underestimate the speed of my handwriting. This year I have been working to make it as fast as possible, to aid in note-taking, reporting and the transfer of coded messages. With a PDA you need to write each letter individually and I find that darned inefficient. Why write one letter per stroke when you can write two or three? Mind you, I am not suggesting cursive, as I curse that foul beast that tormented my grade school years. The only purpose of teaching cursive is to force discipline upon children and make them cry… that and to trick them into signing release forms for dangerous medical experiments.

Nay, not cursive, for I am pursuing something infinitely better. I desire a handwriting where entire words are jumbled into singular quick and bumpy lines, that can only be interpreted by myself and the occasional Arab, who takes great offense at what I unwittingly wrote about his mother.

Lately I’ve been too successful. The speed is great but the interpretation leaves something to be desired. What the heck did I write? “Wheat-based drought?” This is Philosophy class! Many times I have to go back and insert letters, or even rewrite words that I know I won’t be able to read. With my mechanical pencil as a scientific control group, I can actually feel the quality of different brands of graphite while writing. Some are incredibly smooth and allow a seamless glide through words that will be legible, others are more rough and move ugly. They make my handwriting look like that of a lobotomized chimpanzee.

If I have trouble reading my handwriting, Lord knows what goes through other people’s heads as they descramble my transmissions. At the last Justin Roth concert, mine were the only audience lyrics he could not read. It took Roth three chrouses until he hacked out something that faintly resembled the scrawls I laid down. I occasionally leave important notes for my roommates (medication is in… pick up immediately. IMMEDIATELY) but they just assume someone was doodling on a Post-It note.

But it all pays off. I’ve got over 350 pages of class notes this semester, through which I can trace my systematic handwritten alienation from the masses.

There actually wasn’t going to be an entry tonight. Consider youselves lucky.