Thursday, October 30, 2008

it has a name!

My name is Abby, and I do not have pretty writing.

The first step is to recognize that there is a problem. Terri recently posted a blog entry done in her neat, friendly handwriting and urged others to do likewise. Ugh, do I dare put readers through the torture?

Now I don't think too much about this, this "disability" of mine. It usually only causes me consternation when I need to write a personal note of some sort, like a thank-you. A thank-you should be handwritten and authentic and pretty. I try, but it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets.

I actually keep a written journal, but I don't worry about anyone finding it and reading it, because it's so illegible, even I can't read it.

BUT, I recently learned that there's a name for this! I'm not alone!

Graphomotor function is the use of the neuromuscular system in the fingers and hands to effectively maneuver a pen or pencil and put letters and words on paper. People with graphomotor problems struggle with this, especially as assignment length increases. This function affects the ability to keep pace with the flow of ideas.

Yes, that's me! Graphomotor function - "the deeply mysterious and too often elusive form of motor ability needed for writing." - Mel Levine, M.D. - problem.

And I'm a teacher now. My biggest obstacle in my teacher training was writing legibly on the whiteboard. My trainer just tells me to "practice practice practice"... "and, write in BLOCK LETTERS". So that's what I do. I have a whiteboard in my house for practice. It's getting better.

I know a lot of people who just say, "I have bad handwriting", and it seems that maybe they're just lazy, but I can attest to the struggles these people have with legible writing. Like I said, the harder I try to write prettily, the uglier it gets. And yes, the longer the note gets, the more it looks like sh*t on a shingle. And yes, my hand just can't keep up with what my brain's trying to say. *sigh*

So, to all the Graphomos out there (is that a proper label?). You are not alone!


Whodat? said...

They should make a font like that. :-)

Beej said...

I think our handwriting is very similar. How do you spell similar? Anyway...I think I'll do this when Oscar Wilde week is over. Or hey, maybe Oscar Wilde week is only 4 days and I'll do it tomorrow!


terri said...

I can totally read your writing. I don't think it's nearly as bad as you think it is.

The real reason I don't handwrite most of the time is that my hand can't keep up with my thoughts. It's so much easier to be able to type what I'm thinking. By the time I write down half a thought, I've forgotten the other half.

Judy said...

Your handwriting is not NEARLY as bad as my dad's or my brother's.

I actually took "handwriting" in college as part of my elementary ed certification...apparently making kindergarten-print letters is essential for teaching 8th grade math (okay, okay, I am teaching itty bitty kids NOW, but not back then!).

Whimsical Ranter said...

My penmanship was much better back in my high school days...of course back then I also dotted my I's with hearts.

That said, since the computer has become my main method of communication, I have hate to admit but my handwriting has become horrible.

In fact a fun thing for the kids to do is to try to read my shopping lists...which is a combination of hurriedly spelled, and scratchings that resemble words in an ancient text-like sense.

Daveman said...

ABBY! ((hugs)) I sense your pain, but in your case your fears should be dismissed. I would not call your writing caligraphy pretty, but its a far far far cry from ugly.

Yours is a functional style - its clean, slick and most impportantly I CAN ACTUALLY READ IT where as most people I know even with pretty hand writing I cant read at all.

I will not comply with this challenge because trust me, I spare you and others severe mental distress in reading my hand writing (cursive or print).

You see, my handwriting is technically classifed as an Grapho-motorhicular Accident. State Farm will not even insure me on this. ~sigh~

** dave runs away screaming **

Linda said...

I can TOTALLY relate!!I know when I am writing..say my journal, the end of it is horrible & I can't make it out!! I understand. I USED to have nice handwriting. Not too sure what happened. I come across things from way back when and it's written in this really neat writing, and I think to myself..I didn't write this. It's too neat. Knowing full well I did,And I do not think your hand writing is all that bad. :)