In honour of Family Day and in recognition of our responsibility to our children, let me turn your focus 180 degrees from Aurora’s political circus to a more serious topic.
Last month we got a thank-you note from our 15 year-old granddaughter on behalf of her brother and herself, expressing appreciation for the Christmas gifts they had received. This young lady is extremely bright, gifted and a really nice kid, for a teenager.
What was particularly striking about her note, and the envelope in which it arrived, was the fact that it was printed in her hand, and not very well at that.
On the next occasion that one of us spoke to her mother, my wife asked a simple question: “Does Mary (name changed) know how to write?”
The answer curled my wife’s ear. “You don’t have to know how to write anymore! Nowadays everyone has a laptop or a Blackberry – writing is history.” This from our elder daughter who had started her university career with a journalism career in mind.
Our younger daughter, who is an elementary school teacher in a town north of here, came down on her sister’s side. “We don’t bother with mechanics any more, rather teaching children to be well-rounded, something their parents no longer do.”
Kicking into the conversation a couple of days later was our son-in-law, above daughter’s husband, a swing elementary school teacher. Everyone that he came into contact with in his school not only wrote, but did so beautifully. It seemed to be a competitive thing and reflected a certain degree of pride in the accomplishment. Possibly because of a different mind-set in some cultures.
Into the mail this past Friday were a couple of books on cursive writing and a kit on calligraphy. We might get a blast for meddling. I really hope not.
Today’s young generation is swamped with technology, a lot of it very positive. But social networking on the Internet strikes me as an extremely dangerous alternative to getting out and playing with kids in your neighbourhood, seeing and talking face to face with real people.