Monday, September 29, 2008

Way back when I did attend school...

... and even enjoyed it, it was here where I attended grammar school. Not even 123.17 feet from my front door and a simple three-minute walk as a child, I remember days of such heavy fog that after stepping out of my flat where I lived on the same street as the school, I couldn't even see the school!

I've been meaning to revisit my old schools since my return late last year but work in getting stuff out of this apartment, photography and trips and plain stress and laziness has kept me from doing this. But today after a simple walk around the block, I entered finally to see that though the upper floors has been converted into an adult learning center and downstairs a childcare center, it really hasn't changed. Down the stairs to where cars are now parked in half of the schoolyard is the same wall I used to play handball ~ and won quite a few competitions too! I always considered myself quick on my feet with excellent reaction and reflexes, and that was proven easily against my fellow students.

I noticed now the beauty of marble-lined banister in the stairwells, something I didn't even notice nor care about as a very hyper child.

Of course now the classrooms were filled with desks much larger than when I sat in while in attendance, but being in the rooms ran a nervous chill down my back, and I quickly left the rooms and went out to the hall then outside. It was here that one teacher ~ forgot her name ~ realized that I had creative talent and allowed me to "do" some things not allowed other students. For example, I have the intense memory of drawing a perfect circle with ease, which my fellow students did with worse results than I. As a result of that I never was "required" to follow through learning to write in cursive and when I entered the military, I was told my non-written signature was not "legal", something I was told required cursive - so my "signature" was then born from my lowercase name which was my signature then, adapted in a fake cursive mode to appear as my signature!

Another memory was when we were all told to stand at attention and face the flag, which was lowered to half-mast upon news of John F. Kennedy's death... nobody near me knew why we were doing it, and nobody cared about it except that it was using up our precious recess time.

My old grammar school may be an adult learning center now, but to me it's was an open book in my past, and still is ~ with lots of memorable pages waiting to be opened and turned!

Ooooooh, the memories!!


  1. With all due respect to our nation's fighting forces, I must point out that the service member who described your non-cursive signature as "not legal" either misunderstood the law, or had accepted the word of someone else -- perhaps a superior officer -- who had misunderstood it.

    According to my legal staff, the law does not require, and has not required, a particular style of writing in order to make a signature legal. Legally, your signature consists of whatever mark you habitually use of your signature. To learn more -- if you want to plow through some pages of actual legal verbiage on the matter -- visit and scroll down to the question on signatures.

    Kate Gladstone
    Founder and CEO of
    Handwriting Repair for Handwriting That Works
    Director of the World Handwriting Contest

  2. I'm surprised they let a man and his camera into a place like this now. That sairt way is petty nice isn't it funny what when notice as me get older, things of beauty are every where.

  3. The law *never* required (even 'way back in the 1970s) cursive for signatures. The custom of telling children otherwise apparently began with elementary school teachers desperate to find a way to persuade children to accept the forcible change of their handwriting from one style (that they had just so laboriously learned) to another and even more difficult style. This rationale does not, in my opinion, excuse a tradition of misrepresenting the law of the land -- even though most (probably all) of the people spreading the "cursive required" story presumably believe it, because they learned it as fact in their own childhoods.


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