20 juin, 2018 – Lost Language Arts. Dying arts, a piece of the past that can be shared in love, received with intrigue and recalled nostalgically.

Lost Arts –

Substitute teaching this year was an eye opening experience.  To say things have changed is the understatement of the YEAR!

However…ah hello…where did cursive go?

What Happened To Shorthand & Cursive – 

Cursive, it’s gone.  It seems to have died the same slow death dealt to shorthand.  Dead, like shorthand.  Gone, quietly and unceremoniously.

I remember when shorthand was retired from the public school system in the early 80’s (at least where I went to school).  Poor ole girl – she fought a tough battle, but ultimately lost.  I’m sure there are people who continue to learn to use shorthand to some extent, but gone are the days of steno pads, and shorthand drills.

I however, still recall those glory days.  A product of the 60’s, I was so excited to get to High School in the fall of 1979 and  have my shorthand book issued to me.  Hysterically, basically the same book that my mother had used some 20 years earlier.

Photo of my mom’s book from about 1963 –

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Mom’s Book – 1960’s

Being the language freak I am (note, I did not say language guru), I was and am still amazed and intrigued by shorthand which, I consider a language.  There were a couple of methods if I recall – Pittman used in the UK and Gregg used in the US.

According to the internet, there are countries that teach shorthand for those students / professions that might find it useful.  And I’m sure there are some careers / professionals that do or would find it an advantageous and useful tool.  However, if you asked someone under 40 what shorthand is / was they would be hard pressed to respond.

Cool stuff that shorthand / sometimes call stenography.  I thought of it (shorthand) as a code.  I imagined myself a WWII code breaker, transmitting and deciphering secret war time messages.  I can still write I love you – see below.

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I Love You

Cursive An Endangered Species –

“You wrote your name in cursive, who taught you that?”  I asked.  “My grandma,” the 4th grader responded.  “Great job buddy!”  I enthusiastically replied.  

As a substitute, I’ve learned not to write my name on the whiteboard (not to be confused with a blackboard) in cursive, because the students can not read it if I do.

Just a few short years ago my children were taught and learned to write in cursive, I remember hearing rumors of it’s decline, but really paid it no mind.  It’ll never happened I thought to myself.  But now as my grandchildren have entered school I realize, it’s pretty much a done deal.  It’s gone!

I understand the rhetoric.  Just like I understood the all to similar rhetoric when shorthand was enjoying her final days.  Yet – it still saddens me.  MY grandchildren WILL NEVER KNOW HOW TO WRITE CURSIVE.  It’s up to me to pass this on.  If I don’t – it’ll be too late…

There’s So Much To Learn These Days – 

There’s so much for children to learn these days – I don’t even know where the educators would find time in the school day to plug cursive back in to.  I’m not even sure of the actual status of cursive (state to state), but I’m pretty sure it’s not part of today’s standards in my state.  An internet search will leave you unsure and you’ll find it a very heated and debated subject.

I’ve been so impressed with today’s teachers and students.  The teachers teach some amazing concepts.  And the students absorb these concepts at an incredible rate.  Far more advanced at a given age than I remember being.

Today’s standards are just that – today’s standards.  They are for the NOW.  They are relevant and solid and I have faith in the education system I witnessed this year.

Vintage Themes And Remembering That Change Is Progress – 

As much as I like vintage, I’m a big advocate for change.  Believing that change is progress and always proclaiming publicly – change is growth – change is progress.

I keep in my pocket a picture of the past a memory of long, long last.

There are things that can and should be shared and cared for and passed on in our lifetime.  Recipes, prayers, memories, trinkets, skills, quilts, and last but not least, cursive and shorthand.

Like the cold war, the typewriter and the film camera, cursive and shorthand are memories I have.  Memories, that my children and grandchildren don’t have.  And like the memories of my parents (the draft, Elvis, and the 57 Chevy) and of my grandparents (the great depression, the jitterbug, and WWII), each set subjective.  They are relevant only to OUR unique time here on earth.

The Truth Of The Matter Is –

Things change, they evolve, they fade.  Many traditions, arts, languages, customs, ways etc… are lost to progress or simply to time.

It’s understandable, but none the less sad.

Cursive is to today’s elementary school student what shorthand was to me.

It’s not rocket science and saving it will not end world hunger.  It’s a dying art, a piece of the past that can be shared in love, received with intrigue and recalled nostalgically.

I hope you enjoyed this look back – I know I did.

Pass something on!

Suz

Décembre 20, 2017. Big blue ball in the sky, one ticket one ride. One round on this round.

IMG_4530.JPGDay 21 –

Bonjour!

Big blue ball in the sky.  One ticket, one ride.

One round on this round.

21 days ago I left my job, my routine, my security, my norm.

I’m a little afraid.

It was a really good job!

I quit my job to change my life as it became more than a job – it became my life.  I was totally out of balance.

We’ve all heard the phrase – Americans live to work, whereas the French work to live.

This resonates deep with me.

Realistically, we all have to work.  Nothing is free.  I of course will work again – but I needed to come up for air, look around a bit and focus on what’s real.

It was a choice I made after a LONG think.  A choice I’m still sifting through and a choice I’m slowly moving through.

I remind myself that if you want change – you have to change.  That change won’t come by thoughts alone – it takes action.

For over a year I tried to change without changing.  I thought about changing every day.  But nothing changed.  So one day without thinking too much – I abruptly changed.

Now, moving through the change, I try not to look back.  I try not to fear and I try not to second guess.

Sometimes you have to step back before you can step forward.

Day 21 –

I think I’m ready to step forward.  Not into into what will be – but forward into the change – into the process.

Here’s to coupon cutting, simpler days and homemade meals.  Here’s to conscious living and feeling life.  Here’s to a new year, a new start and changing my life.

Big blue ball in the sky. One ticket, one ride.

One round on this round.

Today I take the  first step.  Slowly but with intention and with a smile.

Feeling blessed to have this choice.

Suz

 

Décembre 1, 2017. Leaving this space to fill another. Dots on a line. And moving forward with new French themes.

IMG_4445.JPGBonjour!  C’est un nouveau mois et je commence un nouveau chapitre de ma vie!

Leaving this space –

My life thus far has been broken up into segments of time I call – dots; little pockets of places and time on a line.

Each dot or space of time on the line is a significant point in my life.  Births, graduations, marriages, deaths, moves, relationships, jobs etc…

The line includes places I’ve lived, worked, visited.  All chronologically recorded.  It’s quite simple – this line.  And just like everyone’s line, there is an end that we can’t see.  But we continue along the line with faith.

Soon I’ll be leaving a dot that I’ve occupied for 10 years.  A space that’s been very good to me, professionally and personally.

And I don’t yet have another dot to occupy.

Like a scene from a science-fiction movie, I can see the space – the dot on the line that I’ve rested at for the last ten years slowly filling itself in.

Gradually, the big fat sharpie of life gently colors in the dot, signifying that one space of time is closing and another should begin.

Another dot waiting to emerge –

I can see in the distance, the new dot forming – it starts with an arc over the line.  It’s an excited little arc of energy, full of potential, adventure and experiences.

It’s up to me if I chose to roll with this arc of what if.  But why now?  This space is good.  I’m content.  It’s simple enough.  So why am I leaving it?  And why do I feel so strongly that I need to move on?

I have no idea.  Do I thrive on change?  Is it time to learn something new, slow down or mix it up?  Is this the time to count my blessings, to smell those roses?

Whatever it is, I’m walking through the door.  I always do.  I’m going to make it a great dot.  I’m going to live like it’s the last dot YET, I hope I have many more.

We never know how long our dots will last.  Some find fullness in many dots, some find it in one big dot.  On the time line in my head, I have several more arcs waiting like the sun on the horizon at sunrise – peeping eagerly and excitedly for their turn.

Trust.

New French themes –

2017 saw me enhancing my French language skills and running a 50 mile ultra marathon.

2018 will see me continuing to enhance my French language skills and contintinuig to run – possibly a 100 K AND drum roll please…I hope to host a French exchange student.

I’ve wanted to do this for years, but never had the time.  This year, I’ll have the time.

We live in a beautiful area of the U.S., close to several larger cities and intersting Amercian attractions.  I’m excited to host a student and share our amazing America.

Suz