Personalization Through Pens

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Personalization Through Pens

By Wyatt Zwik

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All students were taught proper handwriting techniques in their early schooling years. Starting in kindergarten, students learn how to write the ABC’s, and are expected to blossom into a student with meticulous yet eloquent handwriting. But do they?

While most of my peers fall into the ‘neat handwriting’ category, I somehow have succumbed to a decisively horrendous handwriting style. I’m often met with condescending remarks about my poor penmanship. Recently, I was even asked to rewrite an in-class essay to be more legible, otherwise, my teacher would not be able to grade it.

Why do some people not have technically good handwriting? Niles West speech pathologist Katrina Garmon explains how some people come to their slapdash form of script.

“The medical term [for bad handwriting] is dysgraphia, and what it is actually the connections to neurons sending the signals in your brain that make your body move,” said Garmon. “There might be something in the way that the neurons are firing that make it difficult for those fine motor movements in handwriting.”

There are a variety of other factors that can lead to having good or bad handwriting. As explained by special education teacher Mary Jo Schnabel, these factors have a massive impact on one’s handwriting.

“Some people have worse handwriting than others, and there’s strategies you can use to improve your handwriting,” Schnabel said. “For example, slowing down helps a ton. there’s certain ways to hold your hand, certain ways to sit, like sitting at a 90-degree angle.”

Whether people may have poor handwriting skills sometimes just comes down to how much they have practiced it. The old saying “practice makes perfect” goes hand in hand with good penmanship. This is demonstrated by junior Alyssa Sarilarp, who has worked tediously to improve her handwriting.

“As a kid, I always loved to be creative, especially through drawing. I guess I kind of considered writing as a form of drawing. But I think I really pushed myself to draw and write better was because of my dad,” Sarilarp said. “My dad isn’t a professional artist but he draws really well and his handwriting is impeccable. I would see the things he drew and wrote and aspire to do what he did. I tried to pay extremely close attention to how I wrote things so it could be as neat as possible. This resulted in me probably being the slowest at writing but taking my time with handwriting really helped me to improve. I also started to get compliments on my handwriting which motivated me to just keep improving.”

My handwriting sometimes seemingly takes the form of ancient hieroglyphics, which is probably just a byproduct of my rushed writing. Using different strategies to make your handwriting better, and just plain old practice, can help all, including myself, improve their handwriting.