Author Topic: An opposing view  (Read 2309 times)

Offline Ken Fraser

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An opposing view
« on: May 22, 2015, 05:44:34 PM »
I am fascinated by the many strong, conflicting views honestly held and expressed on just about every subject!

Calligraphy is no exception and I kept this cutting (I can't remember where it came from) and am posting it here, not because I necessarily agree with the comments, but I admit to a sense of mischief and I am curious as to the response (or lack of it) to the views expressed.  :P


Offline AndyT

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2015, 07:50:16 PM »
A curious mixture of self evident truth and patent nonsense, I'd say.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 08:53:33 PM »
Bosh.

Offline NicholasC

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 08:42:43 PM »
I was taught cursive using the Palmer method in elementary school.  It is one of the reasons that my teacher took a young, confused, left handed boy and forced him into a right handed mold.  My hand eye coordination suffered, my penmanship was awful, and I even developed a stutter (which I later found out often goes hand in hand with forcing children to use their non-dominant hand for writing). 

It wasn't until my mother found out that I was being forced to use my right hand and made a huge scene at the school that the official policy was changed.  This helped out others who came after me, but for me the damage was already done.  I am now ambidextrous, with a slight tendency to use my left hand for fine motor skill type things (other than writing, which I still tend to do with my right hand).  Ambidexterity may seem like a good ability, but I often find myself getting confused as to which hand to use, constantly switching back and forth between the two (I've been told that it is odd to watch me eat).  I tell people that I am equally poor at using either hand...except where pool is concerned.  I can shoot pool extremely well with either my left or right hand, which means no behind the back shots for me (but plenty of surprised and annoyed looks from my opponents).  BUT, being good at pool is hardly a fair trade for the difficulties that being forced to use my right hand have caused.

The Palmer method was the source for my school's policy, and it changed my life irrevocably.  I often wonder how my writing and drawing would have turned out if I had been taught to use my left hand in my formative years.  A system for teaching and for learning is always helpful, but rigidly enforcing mechanics that may not work for everyone causes far more harm than good.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 05:03:36 PM by NicholasC »
Rise up in the cafeteria and stab them with your plastic forks!

Offline Ergative

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 12:50:44 PM »
I can't comment much on the content, since I don't know whether the cursive I was taught in 3rd grade was actually Palmer or not. It certainly didn't involve drills, hand-position instructions, or shoulder movements.

That said, the first sentence is missing a subject.

Also, that said, don't we all talk here about the importance of posture, arm-movement rather than finger movements, and correct grip? How is this critical view of Palmer different from our approach? How many of us actually feel stifled? How many of us feel that a proper attention to posture, grip, and movement is incompatible with freedom and movement in our calligraphy?

I suspect the writer suffered more from a bad teacher (who did not teach good grammar), rather than from a bad writing method.
Clara

Offline Empty_of_Clouds

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 02:13:33 PM »
I believe that the original quote comes from A History of Learning to Write,  by Ewan Clayton.  Whether the author is reputable or not I cannot ascertain.

Offline AndyT

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Re: An opposing view
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 04:24:24 PM »
That is correct, and he is reputable.  The full article is here (a direct link to a pdf download).

Mr Clayton is an erudite and even handed writer (and a fine calligrapher), but that extract is taken from a ten page paper which attempts to summarise his book "The Golden Thread: The Story of Writing" which runs to 350 pages plus extensive notes and bibliography.  Inevitably nuances are lost.  In the book it is clear that his beef is with Palmer and the Gradgrindian pedagogical practices of the 19th century.  He is, in fact, distinctly positive about Spencer.