My profs are technophobes. Or are they?

I have two profs that insist we HAND WRITE just about everything. How archaic!

I got to thinking about why these two instructors want us to hand write some of our assignments and I think I may have hit upon the method to their madness:

It takes a lot of time to compose things by hand as opposed to typing characters on a keyboard.

I just finished a two-page handwritten reflection for my Human Relations class. It took me an hour. Two pages in one hour, I could scarce believe it! I took my time because I knew that I wouldn’t have the luxury of a backspace key to reword or move text. I wouldn’t be able to highlight sections of text and hit “delete.” Worst of all, no “spell check” button.

I had to think about what I wanted to write. I had to stop and phrase the sentences in my head before I put pen to paper. Yes, pen. No pencil allowed.

My Applied Research prof also gave us a handwriting assignment. He asked us to create note cards for each and every quote and citation from the research articles we planned to use for our reviews of the literature that is due next week. We had a minimum number of articles we had to cite. It took me a combined seven hours over 4 days to write it all out by hand!

The result of that exercise? I learned that I highlight WAY TOO MUCH. There is no way I’ll be able to use everything I highlighted. And there’s no way that everything I highlighted was THAT important.

Their methods, while old-fashioned, helped me remember why I love to write. To again feel the joy of finding the exact words and phrases the first time, of plotting my thought progression, and visualizing what I want to say before creating it into existence on the blank page in front of me. The whole writing process is incredibly exhilarating, exhausting, and satisfying.

Although my hand is still throbbing and I’m again battling the writer’s callous on my middle finger tip, I realized that putting an actual pen to a real piece of paper is probably the most effective way to write because importance is placed on precise verbiage as opposed to the ease of letting my fingers fly on the keyboard and then having to spend precious time on revise & edit.

Thank you Kathy & Alan. You are both brilliant.


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