Copying time

I got the idea for this (silly) blog post from my primary, inexhaustible source of inspiration, but I swear, I have been thinking about doing a blog post on handwriting for a while.

This is a sample of my handwriting

I hardly use my fountain pens these days — heck I hardly hand write at all. Until not so long ago, I thought that I would never stop completely, since I would necessarily continue to hand write on a white board, while delivering my lectures. But, even that seems to have come to an end, as my first experiment with presentation software to teach an introductory physics course (something that I thought I would never do) is going actually much better than I expected [0].

After acquiring my iPad, I have got into the habit of using it to take notes during meetings, mostly because I have the tendency to throw away the sheet of paper on which I have scribbled my remarks [1], but also because I find myself using my notes more often if I actually take them in computerized form.

So, what is it that I still write by hand ? Algebra, which I need to do for my work (both teaching and research) is just about the only thing that I still find easier to do by hand. I have never learned to use computer algebra software (like Maple) … well, I have used it occasionally, but have never became a pro, mostly because I did not want to lose entirely the ability of doing calculations — something at which I have never been terribly good.
I am fascinated by the idea of doing algebra on a computer, though, I have to admit it. It is one of those projects for which I have never had the time.

Other than that… I really have to think hard… Let’s see… phone numbers ? Not if I can avoid it, I typically try to insert them in my computer address book right away, at least on my phone, because, again, I know that if I jot the information down, I shall toss the piece of paper shortly thereafter [2]
I sign my name on credit card bills… I cannot recall the last time I wrote a check… I have not written a letter in a long time… I sign holiday cards and postcards that my wife writes… yeah, that’s about it.
I am beginning to hate the fact that just about any post I write, these days, ends with something along the lines of “Sigh… time really is flying….”

P. S. I have been told that one of the reasons I do not write much is because most of the hand writing in my household is done by another person. I am told that checks are being written, after all. Who woulda thunk it…


[0] Aside from the ungodly amount of time that it takes to prepare the slides using ordinary presentation software.

[1] Sometimes I do it inadvertently… throw away, that is, not scribble.

[2] I may be affected by a form of OCD, but I hate to see loose sheets of paper full of unintelligible scribble laying around. To me, if it is important it has to be saved in computer form and filed, otherwise it belongs in the waste basket. As for stickies on the computer screen… there should be a law against that, one that comes with stiff penalties.

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5 Responses to “Copying time”

  1. mareserinitatis Says:

    Your handwriting is just fine. I’ve seen far, far worse.

  2. Transient Reporter Says:

    I look at my kids and I’m sad to realize that they will never know the sheer joy – the absolute, unsullied delight – in receiving a letter (a real physical letter written long-hand) from a dear friend.

    I also learned to write with a fountain pen (Parker, please. Mount Blanc is crap). I wonder if you can even buy blotting paper any more.

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