91-Year-Old Teaches Cursive to Arizona Students to Keep Art of Handwriting Alive

Marilyn Harrer, 91, the “Cursive Queen”

The rise of the keyboard, and smart technology, has seen the tradition of handwriting fall by the wayside in most modern classrooms.

A woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, continues to keep the art of cursive writing alive, however, more than 20 years after officially retiring from teaching.

Marilyn Harrer, 91, began teaching cursive writing in 1951; after teaching for some years, she officially retired in 1997.

“When I retired from full time teaching, my teacher friends said they always liked the way the children in my class wrote and so they wanted to know if I wouldn’t come back and work in their classrooms,” said Harrer, azfamily.com reported.

After her retirement, she began volunteering her cursive writing instruction services at Anasazi Elementary in north Scottsdale.

Like using a computer, handwriting is a whole-body exercise.

“We talk about how to sit, how to hold your paper, how to write at a slant, how you hold your pencil,” explained Harrer.

After so many years honing her handwriting craft and passing it on to her students, she’s garnered from them the title “Cursive Queen.”

Harrer has racked up a number of accomplishments from her cursive teaching, sending forth 35 students to carry home the state handwriting title in Arizona, with two others becoming national cursive champions.

“Well I just expect the best from all children, and they respond,” she said.

Meanwhile, when volunteers were barred from institutions to curb the spread of the CCP virus, it did not stop Harrer from carrying out her usual instruction.

“We didn’t let COVID stop us,” she said. “I would go over to my daughter’s house and eat a nice dinner, and my grandson Grant would film me teaching the lessons.”

While cursive teaching has long been excluded from the curriculum in many schools, Harrer has a passion to keep the tradition alive.

To support her mission, she began a pen pal project that matches seniors with students, with some success.

“This is our third year, and we now have a surplus of people who want to be pen pals,” she said. “And they really look forward to doing it.”

Harrer has a plan to continue teaching cursive for as long as she can manage it, adding that research has proven a link between cursive handwriting and brain activity.

SOURCE: The Epoch Times https://www.theepochtimes.com/91-year-old-teaches-cursive-to-arizona-students-to-keep-art-of-handwriting-alive_3854145.html?utm_source=sharemorningbriefnoe

Happy Birthday Orson Welles

The great actor-writer-director Orson Welles would have turned 106 today, May 6, 2021. I did a centennial piece on him six years ago. Thanks to the release of MANK last year, which offered a questionable treatment of Welles’s role in the writing of CITIZEN KANE, I’ve been eager to read Welles’s own account and wound […]

“I will never grow tired of hearing stories told” – Quotes from Orson Welles — Brian Camp’s Film and Anime Blog

Why Are Our Intellectuals So Dumb?

A conversation between William F. Buckley Jr., Paul Hollander and Ernest van den Haag that seems more relevant today than at the time it took place, in December of 1981.

Prepare for brain stimulation!

WARNING: If you’re a millennial, the following may cause severe headaches and confusion. If you’re a liberal, your brain might combust:

The art of conversation.

GRATITUDE

A book that should be read and re-read often. Especially on this day of Thanksgiving.

“To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or … to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.”

― William F. Buckley

Wise Willy Wonka

Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.

Imagination is the most powerful tool we have; it’s our superpower. With great power comes great responsibility and we are responsible for the world we create. If we want a better world, we must imagine it first, and believe in that image. We see what we believe, we reap what we sow, and that all begins with our thoughts, so choose your thoughts wisely.

I cannot think of any song that describes the power of the imagination better than “Pure Imagination” sung by Willy Wonka, played by Gene Wilder, in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. This is one of my favorite films of all time; it never gets old because it’s full of wonderful wisdom. Listen to the lyrics and put these words into practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVi3-PrQ0pY

J.R.R TOLKIEN ON FAIRY STORIES

The following excerpts are from J.R.R Tolkien’s essay collection: On Fairy Stories. 

His wisdom is always pertinent, especially during these times of vulnerability:

RECOVERY ESCAPE CONSOLATIONRECOVERY ESCAPE CONSOLATION 2RECOVERY ESCAPE CONSOLATION 3

Featured Image: Spirit of the Night, 1879, by John Atkinson Grimshaw

“You’re gonna make it after all”

There’s nothing quite as cheerful as the opening theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show:

Watching this and listening to the music makes me so nostalgic for a time when we were more innocent. However that refrain, “you’re gonna make it after all,” reassures us, after all these years, that there are still brighter days ahead.