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A Loss of Respect for the Handwritten Word….

I am so proud of this article written by my grandson that I decided to put it on my blog for my friends to read.  He did an outstanding job on this and I was very impressed.  Did not know that he was able to write so well.  Excellent job, Nathan – Papop is very proud of your writing.  I hope all enjoy it as much as I did!  I now present:

An Article written by my Grandson:
Nathan Alexander Wieters

Typewriters are the downfall of Penmanship?

Think back to grade school; remember those special sheets of paper? Long rectangles with the dashed middle lines, the stationary equivalent to training wheels… Remember what seemed like countless hours spent learning each capital and lower case letter in cursive? Ask your parents if they remember. Now think hypothetically about your children. Odds are they will not have the same recollection. When thinking back, they will more than likely remember the countless hours typing away on a keyboard. Some elementary schools have already made the change from physical handwriting lessons to the more widely used digital form of typing. I say it all began with an increasing demand for business communication, which led to the many inventions and eventually the standardization of the typewriter in the mid to late 18th and 19th centuries. The decline of penmanship, however, did not start quite then, but the typewriter definitely got the proverbial ball rolling. With an ever expanding need for faster and better, which is the American way of life, its no wonder we all searched for a faster method of dictation and composition.

Since the dawn of religion, man has been creating scripts , all to better suit the needs of the church. There were scripts created to make religious manuscripts look flashy and awe inspiring. Some were created to fit more words per page. Others were created so the authors would be able to write faster and produce more manuscripts in a certain amount of time; all, on a not so massive scale (Literacy was not too common of a thing). Now, fast forward a bit to the middle of the 14th century… enter Gutenberg with the first movable type press. His small-scale printings of literature and Indulgences, started fueling the need and want to be literate, or was it God that was responsible for this? Some even speculate this invention was inspired by, and created for the church, but, regardless, without literate people, you can not have the want and desire nor the hustle and bustle for faster and faster composition.

After the first printing press came more printing presses, scattered all throughout Europe and eastward. With more printing presses came the importance of authorship and many revolutions of knowledge, because now, anyone with the right resources could share the information they wanted to share, with what seemed like an endless amount of people through the use scholarly journals.

Who wrote what and when was also starting to become a meaningful question. Before the press it used to be that not every work of literature was the same, so now there was room for tables of contents, indexes, and page numbering. We have the first steps of the first democratization of knowledge happening, which is the spread of knowledge amongst the common people. And with literature becoming a commercial enterprise, the very first copyright laws are put into place to protect the author’s intellectual property rights. Then came a decline of publishing in a universal language; Latin, replaced by the vernacular of each area in Europe, which increased the variety of works published. With the variety of languages being published came the standardization of the spellings of words and syntax in those languages which then brought about an importance of national language throughout each country.

The Industrial Revolution brought with it the Steam powered printing presses made from solid iron that could print on both sides of the page at once, making printers able to print millions of copies of a single page per day. This made it easier and more affordable to print the newspaper for the masses. Eventually, a pandemic much larger than Influenza had spread. Almost every citizen of every country is reading… every day.

Voila! Literacy.

With literacy comes the desire for more and more people to write, and become entrepreneurs, we have more doctors and lawyers, we have critical thinkers that influence other thinkers, politics and more religious sects. Everything outgrows itself; we need more, we need faster. Soon we have the typewriter, because less and less people want to write by hand, because more and more businesses are growing and require more paper work and legal drafts, and dictations. But the age old tradition of handwriting is still strong in the youth. Penmanship was now reserved for those in schools, those who could not afford typewriters, or to those who just had an affinity for the craft. As typewriters became plentiful so did the trash bags full of tossed standards. After abandoning Spencerian script for a really nice version of Cursive and then allowing arguments that the standards of cursive were too high and unnecessary, which led to yet another decline in the 60’s, nobody really cared anymore. We as a society, got caught up in Counter Culture, cinema, music, politics, and video games. The 70’s did not require as long of a curriculum for handwriting as before. The 80’s brought with it computers and  word processors. Soon, even typewriters would go down in history, along with the disciplined craft they had replaced, and become obsolete.

With the ever expanding reach of technology grabbing hold of the world, soon we had e-mail, and even better word processors. Now, in high schools everyone became concerned about how many words one could type in a minute, instead of how smooth the rockers were on their cursive letters. Professors and teachers got lazy as well and just didn’t have time for handwriting. As most handwriting by this time was starting to become poor; In the 90’s teachers and scientists began to notice the decline in student’s penmanship. Schools were concentrating on it less and less. But hardly anyone cared; we did not need it anymore.

Today, some grade schools have already made the switch, replacing cursive handwriting lessons with keyboarding, and the school districts, each saying they have received equal amounts of praise and disapproval on the matter, move forward with confidence. We are full fledged, knee deep into the digital age. Everything we do is surrounded by some sort of digital something. So it is only a matter of time before the art of handwriting becomes lost altogether. Most likely parents will not even notice, because they themselves have been sucked into the digital vacuum, and will also concentrate on more dire weaknesses such as mathematics and science.

Still though, one can not deny the warmth they feel when reading a handwritten letter, or thank you note, or love note. And it doesn’t take much for legible handwriting. All you need is a steady hand, patience, and practice. We shouldn’t let this art die because the digital age is upon us, we need to spread the written word, embrace it. We need to put the loss of respect for handwriting into the forefront of American consciousness. We need to all of us not rely on computers for spelling and writing, and sentence structure. We need to write by hand, not all of the time, but just enough, so as to keep the flame burning for just a little bit longer…

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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tiger-Mobile

Well Kay and I made it to Dallas area and when we pulled into the driveway of the grand-kids there was a lot of whooping and hollering going on.  The “Tiger-Mobile” had arrived with all the LSU flags and magnets all over.

This morning when it came time to take Katherine to school, she was ashamed to ride and be seen in the “Tiger-Mobile” going to school.  But that’s okay she doesn’t have to be seen in it.  The boys on the other hand were just the opposite, they were hoping that their friends would be outside to see them coming to school all decked out in purple and gold with flags a waving.

We headed to Scottish Rites Hospital to see Clara, our 5 year old grand-daughter, who had several procedures yesterday.  She also was able to visit with the entire team and coaches of LSU when they visited the hospital yesterday.  What an awesome thing for them to do!  You can see it all if you go to http://www.lsusports.net and view the video of the event.

Well Kay and arrived in the “Tiger-Mobile” and were greeted with waves by many people along the North Dallas Tollway.  It is nice to see so many Tiger Fans in the Dallas area.  These people were not only waving, but were also smiling.  Dallas is a very friendly place.  Why while I was in the men’s room using the bathroom a man standing at the urinal right next to me said, “I bet you are in the white car in the parking lot with all the flags.”.  I guess my purple attire gave me away!  I told him, “Why yes I am, thanks for asking.”  We exchanged a few topics about LSU and went on our way.  Now this was interesting, to say the least.  Don’t you agree?

We tried to go see a young boy who the nurses said was a big LSU fan, since he was on the same floor as Clara.  His name was Zack, and upon entering his room you could see that he was for sure a BIG fan.  His room was completely decked out in purple and gold.  Even his covers on the bed were LSU.  But I guess the thing that gave it away was the bulletin board that he had on the wall.  It was loaded with photos of him along with various players along with a few great photos of him and Head Coach Les Miles.  We missed him as he was not in his room, but I still enjoyed looking at his pictures.  We tried to find him to let him know he was a BIG celebrity, but we were not fortunate enough to locate him.

After leaving the hospital we headed to a place called Sam Moon Trading Company.  We found it and I went in to replace my flags that took a beating on the trip.  Found 4 and bought them all!  Well that is not all I bought.  I am a sucker when it comes to LSU merchandise.  I am keeping the economy alive and well in the Dallas area.

Headed to the hotel.  Arrived and found out I had put the wrong hotel into the GPS.  Back to the car and another 13-15 miles back towards Dallas along I-30 this time.  Well finally located the right hotel and have gotten checked in.  Now it is off to see the other grand-kids and family in Roanoke, TX.  Approximately 30 miles further west.  We are waiting for the traffic to die down a little. We have found that you don’t want to travel anywhere between 5:00pm – 7:00pm.  So as I wrap this up it is going on 6:45pm and I figure by the time I get this all proofed and uploaded it will be time to head west.

Wish us God’s speed and a lot of luck on our finding our way.  Sure am glad Kay gave me a new GPS for Christmas.

Will write more tomorrow.  But until then……………..

GEAUX  TIGERS!

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Louisiana Football

Saints in Super Bowl in 2009

As I sit here writing this, Kay and I are getting things ready to load up and head to Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas and Dallas Cowboy Stadium for the 75th Annual Cotton Bowl.

This year features our fabulous 11th ranked LSU (10-2, 6-2) vs 17th ranked Texas A&M (9-3, 6-2), and we will be there to witness it!  All because my wife does not take no for an answer.

From the date that it was announced that LSU would be playing in the Cotton Bowl it was reported that ticket sales were completely sold out.

My beautiful and wonderful wife did not accept that and placed a call to Texas Stadium and through conversation indicated that I was a disabled veteran. Well immediately tickets became available. Now I am beginning to feel honored for my Vietnam Era service time. Not only did we get great seating, but also were able to secure a great parking spot as well and all of this for the going price and not some inflated pricing that is going on out there for tickets.

Not only will we be at the game on Friday night, but we will also be able to visit with our 8 grandchildren in the area and with our two sons who also reside in the area with their families. What a wonderful 2d Anniversary Present this will be! We will be staying at a hotel in the Arlington area, approximately 6 miles from Cowboy Stadium.

Will also be doing some tailgating prior to the game, if you get the time and can find us just come on by and enjoy a cold soda and some awesome tailgating food!  We will be looking for you to come by, but please bring your own chair only have two and they will be taken. ;D

Now wouldn’t you agree that this is an awesome way to start 2011?  We would and are!

Watch for us on the television, we will be the ones on the LSU side, in the upper area around the 10 yard line. It will be easy to spot us as we will be the ones with the BIG heads and smiling faces.

See on the tube!  GEAUX LSU!!






 
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Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Year Is Almost Gone!

Wow, can’t believe I haven’t posted to this blog since September. A lot has happened since my last blog post. First of all the critters have stopped coming around and eating KiKi’s food. Even the stray cats that were coming around have stopped. Guess the stings in the butt finally clicked in and they decided the food wasn’t worth the stings. KiKi actually has food in her bowl the next morning now when she doesn’t eat it all the night before.

Christmas has come and gone without any problems. Kay and I decided to stay home this year and spend Christmas by ourselves for the first time. We did go to her nephew and niece’s home for Christmas dinner. Rich fixed the best gumbo either one of us have ever eaten. It was smoked duck and goose gumbo with sausage. It was soooooo good!! Then a little later he took a beef roll; goose and venison that he had on the smoker all morning off and carved it all up. This was served with a variety of other sides that were prepared and brought by everyone. Needless to say I was bombed out after eating all that I had on my plate. Then afterward I headed to the desert table and ended up completely hurting myself. I was miserable after all that.

I just found a soft chair and sat down to rest the awesome meal I had just devoured.

A little later after some visiting we left and headed out to deliver some presents that we had loaded into the truck. First stop was to a friend’s home where we made a delivery. I got out and didn’t realized the height of the carport was lower than my 6’4″ height. Didn’t duck under and ended up with an almost scalped head. Now know how it felt when the Indians scalped the cowboys back when. Didn’t draw blood but sure felt like it did. Ouch!!!

Christmas with my beautiful wife was awesome! Opened my gifts and super excited to find a new GPS unit under the tree from my awesome bride. Got a new Garmin Nuvi 1350T with lifetime updates on both maps and traffic. Also got what I have been wanting now for several years, a complete weather station which registers wind speed/direction; rainfall; outside temp and inside temp. It is the Oregon Pro Weather Station. I have been reading on it and will try to get the outside modules put out this coming week (after it warms up a bit). Can’t wait to begin to get a complete outline of the weather. I have had an outside temperature and humidity monitor which registers on the inside unit. This will be quit an upgrade to that system. Also received many LSU pj’s and sweatshirts (love LSU gear!). Got some other stocking stuffer items that are awesome. Rob, Nicole, CJ and Katy sent me an LSU coffee mug and some good Mary Kay smelly stuff and Jeff, Carin, Ashlee, Amberlee and Caleb sent us a new ornament for the tree which is very beautiful. Thank you all for everything, what a wonderful Christmas!!

Hate it that Kay was not feeling well during the Christmas week and hope she starts feeling better soon and by New Year’s Eve. We are going to have a bottle of bubbly on New Year’s Eve and then fire off some awesome fireworks this year. I didn’t do this last year and not really sure why. But I will make up for it this year and do a double dose. I know one thing I want to do for sure is get one of those long, and I do mean long, rolls of fire crackers and set them off at midnight. They last like 15-20 minutes of continued popping action. Then I also want the professional type of aerial boomers that are also very pretty when they pop. Have a friend who has a fireworks stand so that will help with the cost as he always gives me a great deal and a very reduced cost. Only way I would be able to do this!! The big fireworks though will come in the kiss I plan to give my wife at midnight!!!

Here is hoping that everyone who reads this blog had a very Merry Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year. This could possibly be my last blog for 2010, so will see everyone on the other side of the beginning of 2011.

Blogs to Ya!!

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized