Handwriting: Outdated Now?

When I was attending my second high school, one of the rules was handwritten homework isn’t allowed. Anyone who turned in handwritten work failed the assignment, regardless of if they would’ve passed otherwise. I always thought that was a strange rule, especially since we did most of the classwork with paper and pencil until the school gave students iPads during my second year.

I asked this in a Facebook group of mine and got this question in response: “Would you turn in handwritten work at a job?” My answer to that question was unless I was told otherwise, I would give handwritten work.

Apparently, that’s not a good idea. Handwritten work is seen as unprofessional (despite that writing takes more work than typing…), so it isn’t acceptable in jobs. That leads me to this question: why was handwriting ever taught to children in the first place?

Yes, that’s a serious question. If school is supposed to prepare children to hold jobs as adults, why was handwriting taught when I was growing up? My elementary school years were a decade ago, so not that long. Shouldn’t I have never been taught how to write in the first place if it’s unacceptable? And why is it still being taught today? I once read an article about how many recent high school graduates have poor reading and writing skills. I don’t know about the reading, but if handwriting is no longer acceptable, it makes why they’d have poor writing skills. They don’t need them.

I have to admit it’s something that makes me sad and little less optimistic about the future. In another decade, maybe less, handwriting will be an obsolete skill, if it isn’t already. That means there will someday be a whole generation that has never learned how to write or has never heard of handwriting. I understand why if it’s a needless skill, but I can’t say it doesn’t make me question my own early education years. Since I don’t plan to have kids, this isn’t I need to be concerned about. It’s merely me trying to adjust the world becoming more and more digitized. I was prepared for typing to be alongside handwriting, not its replacement.

I can’t find it right now, but I remember seeing a political (?) cartoon where two kids were in class and had books. One kid turned to his friend and asked what it was and how to turn it on. I initially rolled my eyes and scoffed at it, but maybe the artist of that cartoon isn’t so far off the mark. Sure, books are typed instead of handwritten, but I can see a kid looking at handwriting, perhaps finding a picture of it on the internet, and asking how they type it instead of how they write it.

Handwriting becoming obsolete also makes me understand giving very small children tablets. I always found that weird because tablets, even ones specifically designed for children, are expensive and small kids are gluttons are clumsiness and accidents. But if they’re going to type their work, whether it’s on an iPad or a computer, instead of writing on paper, little kids do need tablets. At the very least, they have to learn how to type somehow and somewhere.

Personally, I can’t imagine not knowing how to write and despite it becoming an unneeded skill, it’s one I don’t want to lose. At the same time, I suppose it doesn’t matter. If it’s not needed now, it certainly won’t be needed when I’m 30, 40, 55, and so on, assuming I live to those ages. I probably wouldn’t realize I’d lost the ability to write if I ever did, so maybe it’s something I shouldn’t be thinking about at all.

Technology marches on.

Break It Down

I’ve got an art problem and it starts with “impatience”.

It’s much more fun look at your own than make it. At least, that’s how I feel when things start taking longer than I’d like. For the most part, I can reasonably assume how long something will take to finish because I’ve done it before. If it’s more than a day, the idea doesn’t leave my head. And I hate that.

The reason that happens is if something goes on for too long, I get bored of it, especially if I’m been working on it for several hours in a row. The longest I’ve ever worked on something was 14 hours and I still wasn’t finished. It’s not too hard to see why I didn’t want to open an art program again for a while.

I asked for advice on DeivantArt’s forum and I got two ideas I found useful. One was to take some time to make a bunch of rough drafts and sketches. It’s still practice and it’s hard to really get bored when they take about a half hour at most. That was a good idea to me because I do sketching. Can make everything messy and clean it up later. Besides, who says they all have to make it off the page? Some of my drawings never leave the sketchbook, which is probably good because some of them are really bad ideas.

The other idea was breaking down the process into smaller goals to achieve for the day instead of worrying about finishing the whole thing at once and getting it all done as soon as possible. Unless I don’t want to digitize it, my drawing process usually goes in this order: pencil sketch, transfer, outline, details, color, shade, background, sign and watermark, upload. Done. Depending on the size of what I’m trying to make, that can be a very long process, and it never looks like it took as long as it did. Something I spent three weeks on will often look like it only took half a day.

I feel like doing so makes me lazy, but I like the idea that I can just do one part at a time and decide I’m done of the day instead of trying to get it done as quickly as possible. That’s probably why they look so bad in the first place, in addition to the low skill I have. That’s not a new idea to me. Just one I always felt made me a lazy person because I’m making it easy on myself. Of course, if this is supposed to be fun, I probably should do that. I’m not exactly trying to make a career out of this. Having to rush, and still being unable to keep up, is why I never did well in art classes during high school.

I don’t know when I’m going to create or rework something again, but whenever I’ll do, I’ll give that idea a shot. Hopefully, it’s something I can manage to stick to.

I’m Scared

There. I said it.

What am I scared of? A lot of things, in particular, my efforts amounting to nothing.

I’ve been struggling so much about what to do regarding college and reading anecdotes of doing “the right things” only to keep failing only confirms my fears.

Science-related subjects are considered to be the most lucrative careers that exist.¬† I’ve never heard anyone speak lowly of pursuing these degrees and, in my experience, you’re told you’ll always have a job because they’re in high demand. When people say they got college degrees and still can’t find work or are stuck in dead-end jobs, it’s typically assumed they got a “useless” degree, such as something in art, philosophy, or gender studies.

This just tells me you can work hard and still not get anywhere. It seems like it doesn’t even matter. I already fear returning to college for a degree and ending up right back where I started, but what I want to major in is art-related. To go for something in STEM and still end up right back where I started? I’d kick myself for the rest of my life.

On top of that, I’ve been told there are many different paths to success, but I can only find three. Go to college, go to trade school, or find a job and work your way up. I’ve heard of trade school being more profitable than college, especially because you’re not saddled with debt for an extremely long time, but I can’t think of a single trade I’d be capable of. If web design or art/animation were a trade, I’d go for one of those, but unfortunately, they’re not. I’ve also heard, unlike college, you cannot get financial assistance for trade school. You have to pay for it out of your own pocket. I’m still unemployed, so that’s not possible. My only option is finding a job, which I am having a very hard time with.

The only thing I’m sure of right now is that I am a terrible adult. I cannot figure anything out. I’ve been an adult for three years now and I still have no clue how to be one. I’m already upset that I can’t avoid debt, meaning I will owe someone or something money for as long as I live, and I’m honestly afraid I am always going to be in this position. If I end up going back to school, I want that venture to pay off. Not to throw shots at anyone, but I do not want to end up like my mother, going back to school multiple times in an attempt to better my life and getting nowhere except into more debt.

It’s terrifying and I know adults are supposed to do everything themselves (pretty much the point of being an adult), but I wish I had someone to guide me through all of this and help me get somewhere. I don’t know where I am or what I’m doing or how I’m going to get myself anywhere except where I’m already at. I know what I want. I can’t figure out how to get it. I wish adulthood came with a manual for these situations.

Really, all I want is not to be so useless. Clearly, I’m not doing that well.

Is Debt Inevitable?

There are three things in life I want to avoid: debt, pregnancy, and abusive relationships. The latter two aren’t a problem. The first? Apparently impossible.

I already have a small debt from attending college previously, and I want to avoid more, but it seems that may be the only way I can get anywhere. I genuinely want to attend school again, especially since it’s supposed to heighten the chances of finding work, but if all it earns me is crippling debt I can never pay off and I end up exactly where I started, I’ll end up kicking myself into outer¬†space.

The number of people I’ve heard of who return to school again and again in an attempt to better their career chances honestly frightens me. My own mother has been attending school since I was fifteen years old, and she still has yet to hold even one job. My ex (if you can call someone you had a one-month relationship with that) is 28 and has been to school multiple times, and has gone through several different jobs. He once told me he’d join the military as a last resort. I’m not going that far!

It doesn’t help that the only things I have a chance in could hardly be considered lucrative. They may be worth a shot, but if I fail, I’m out of luck and no amount of learning will make tens of thousands of dollars of debt disappear.

It seems debt is an inevitable part of adulthood. If I avoid it, I’ll never get anywhere. If I risk it, I may end up even worse than I was before, not to mention wanting to slam my head for being so freaking useless as an adult!

This is really the only thing holding me back. $3,500 is nothing compared to the debt most people have, and I can’t even pay that! There’s no way I deal with $50,000 or whatever I could potentially end up with.

There are a lot of people who say “think positive” in regards to situations like this and it honestly just makes me want to tell them to go screw themselves. Not because I hate optimism, but because “thinking positive” has led to nothing but trouble. It’s how my mom ended up with me, for crying out loud, and that certainly didn’t end well!

Things To Do During My Gap Year

Two weeks ago, I posted about my plan to postpone college until 2014. I listed a few reasons and my mother is in agreement with the idea, so it seems I’m set.

I already know what I want to do during my gap year. I think I may create a page at the end of the school year and cross things off as I get them done to ensure I do everything I want.

  • Find a job – This is the most important. Right now, I’m only looking for part-time, but since I’ll likely only be attending classes two or three days a week, I may look for full-time on weekends. I need money for various things. Tuition deposit, my license, public transport. If I have to work in another town, I will.
  • Get medical attention – I explained this one in the postponement post. I need to get new eyeglasses, see the dentist and get a physical check-up done as well as probably see the gynecologist again. Although, I hope the last one isn’t necessary. I may also consider getting OTC medication to control my mind because that racing isn’t helping me.
  • Obtain my driver’s license – I might not have a car by the time I start college, but having my license can’t hurt. Perhaps I can save up enough to buy a used one during the years there.
  • Study various subjects – I want to study the math I failed, but I also want to study a few languages and a little bit about mental illnesses, especially depression.