The Mark Of A Man

Oh man, it is late. We’ve burned through the midnight oil and started on tomorrow’s reserves.

The flooring guys came late, today, which pushed back work that we had planned to get completed in a timely manner. These things were completed, if you consider working until 1am timely.

I dragged myself up the stairs, cleaned myself up a bit and prepared to fall into bed.

Then I remembered that I had to write. I confess that I started to swear, and my swearing was punctuated by profanities.

My mother would not be pleased.

Still, I made a deal to write 500 words per day. They don’t have to be good words. They don’t have to be intelligent. They don’t even have to make sense.

I made a deal – with you and with me – that I’d get them written before I hit the hay. Or the sack. Call it a night. Grab some z’s. Get some shuteye.

Hit the hay.

Funny how we have all kinds of different words to describe the same thing.

OK, now I’ve got to focus. Got to get some words down … huh, I almost said on paper. I don’t really write on paper, much. Just lists and stuff.

My dad was teacher, back in the day when handwriting was, in his words, “the mark of a man”. I agreed that writing was indeed the mark of a man. Or woman. Writing is making marks.

He didn’t find me humorous, either.

My penmanship left – and leaves – a lot to be desired. You basically need the Rosetta Stone to decipher what I’ve scrawled onto paper.

This, apparently, was not the mark of a man.

So, when I would get home from school – from school! – I would get to spend another half hour at home, writing properly.

I hated those times. I found absolutely no pleasure in forming the letters properly. As my writing improved, I still detested that task. Especially as I had spent the day doing scholarly stuff.

So I would write neatly and nicely during my half hour, and then scrawl everything else. What  a rebel I was. That was sure showing … someone?

I found one of my old exercise books. Aptly named, I might add, as it felt like exercise to do it. And not the good kind.

My writing was actually pretty good. I tried to copy it, just for fun. Nope. It’s gone. If I take my time, I can still write legibly, but that is the best you could say about it.

I heard that cursive – hand writing – is no longer required in schools. While I might briefly think something like “Well, there’s another thing they don’t do, which is why the world is going to hell in a handbasket”, I am perfectly fine with it disappearing from school.

When I started writing on a keyboard, it took a long time to learn how to do it. I would often hand write my stuff and then type it up later. Sort of like adding up columns of numbers and checking it with a calculator.

Once I figured it out, though, my handwriting days were through. Yes, I maybe miss the connection that I had to the written word, but at least now I can read what I’ve written.

Which, in the case of this post, may not be the best thing.

Good night.

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