Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Writing On The Wall


Again at basketball camp this summer, the coaches did camper evaluations. As always, my handwriting was deplorable. I know some things improve with age but my handwriting is not one of them. The following, from June of 2006, proves the point.

I don't know how Abraham did it. God told him to move and he did. He moved with a huge group of people and a large amount of possessions. Plus, it doesn't appear there was a great of amount of time between the command and it being carried out. Next week, I'm driving to St. Louis, beginning a two week trek to visit family and my hometown. It will be all I can do to get one person on the road. There is a checklist of things for me to accomplish: take care of my paycheck, get neighbors to pick up mail, pay bills, run off maps and directions, etc. My big concern is my car. I usually fly to see family, letting Southwest Airlines worry about the details. Not this time. I had to get my Toyota checked out before the 2,500 mile road trip. Last Friday, I took my car to a mechanic shop, the Bellaire Auto Center. They were terrific! As a first time customer, there was the perfunctory paper work to fill out. I handed it back to the manager....who struggled to read my name. Jokingly, I mentioned that he should forgive my handwriting since I'm a teacher. Wordlessly, he scrawled C- across the top of my application. He was kind; I think a D would have been more appropriate! Fortunately, my penmanship didn't affect my car's evaluation. My Corolla received a clean bill of health!

The gentleman was right. My handwriting is terrible. Actually, it's a misnomer. I don't use cursive anymore. There are only two words I write in longhand anymore: Steve and Hawley and then only to sign checks and documents. Somewhere down the line, I stopped writing and went back to kindergarten block-style printing. And, as I have become more proficient on the computer, I rarely use ink. In our basketball camps, we write evaluations for the kids and I am not always sure they can interpret my comments. I noticed on last week's forms that my C and L are nearly indistinguishable. To where did my ability to communicate legibly on paper disappear? Lack of practice and my own apathy, I would say. Most guys aren't concerned with how they write. I have only had one male student with great penmanship, Carlson Reese, a high school baseball player good enough that pro scouts showed up for our games at Friendship Christian School. Teachers, including myself, let sloppy writing slide in upper grades if we can make out the meaning or intent. We do a disservice to our kids when we don't require a level of competency in penmanship but if you spend time on it in class, you give up time on something else. I also realize the computer has taken over much of the process, perhaps for the better. Sloppiness also creeps into our spiritual lives, little by little. Writing a daily devotional- a good thing- has made my life hectic. The busier I am, the less I pray. The less I pray, the less I study the Bible. It's never intentional. One day we just look up and discover the slippage or, as in the case of my penmanship, someone points it out. I sat next to a little Chinese boy at our fellowship lunch after worship today. James, a first grader next fall, proudly informed me that he can write his own name! The next time I go see the mechanic, I'm taking James with me! I've got to get that C- up to an A!

Coach Hawley's Printers' Hall Of Fame:
Class of 2007- Kia Ransome, Matthew Runnels: both can print the entire New Testament on the front side of an index card!


Applicable quote of the day:
"A man's penmanship is an unfailing index of his character, moral and mental"
4th Earl of Chesterfield


God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

3 comments:

Jon said...

Thats a pretty low grade... hahaha

Sherry Ann said...

You are not alone on this struggle. In high school, I used to be the class "secretary" cos it happens that my hand writing was neat! Not anymore, I write just like a storm and strong wind just pushing my fingers to write something!

文行文行 said...

Man proposes, God disposes................................................................