Open Letter

To Pam Roach, Who Wants Everyone to Learn Cursive

Let me tell you what I tell all of my struggling students…

February 20, 2017 Published in the March 2017 issue of Seattle Met

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Image: James Boyle

Young lady, you sure know how to brighten an old penmanship teacher’s day. I just got home from my weekly bridge game, where the girls told me about that little bill you introduced in the state legislature to require that cursive be taught in Washington schools, and well, I couldn’t wait to write and thank you. Not many people in Olympia will take time away from things like figuring out how to properly fund education or keep students from getting shot on the playground to focus on the important stuff.

That’s not the only reason I’m writing, though. I understand this is the second year you’ve thrown your support behind the loops and swirls, after a similar bill failed miserably in the senate last year. I can imagine that was very embarrassing—I sure hope it’s not why you decided to quit and run for the Pierce County Council—but it shows a lot of gumption to get back up and keep trying when you know you’re just going to fail again. So on that note, let me sign off with a variation on the words of encouragement I give all of my struggling students: We can’t all be doctors and scientists. The world needs ineffectual civil servants too.


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