Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Penmanship and medicine.

   I've been a fountain pen collector for years now.  I love them and the older they are the more I love them.  I can  use a keyboard pretty well for an old guy and I must admit that I don't know whether my typing speed or my cursive writing speed is better, but  I can  tell you this, when it comes to getting your inner and deeper thoughts onto paper, there is no comparison.  Somehow, I have always felt that my brain connects directly with my fingers, which connect directly with my pen, which connects directly with the paper and leaves a living flowing deliciously colourful moist trail (of almost any colour) of my thoughts to gradually dry into a permanent record of  what transitorily flowed through my brain a short while before and would have been forever forgotten if it hadn't been thus captured.  A keyboard could never have captured that.
   Some time ago, a new member of the pen club that I have belonged to for almost twenty years, (www.londonpenclub.com) asked me why I  felt so passionately about writing cursively  and I related tha above opinion to her.  I added that so much was added to any experience by directly touching and feeling  that anything that got in the way diminishes the interpretation of the information.
   When asked to elaborate, I told her the following story from my early days as a young intern working in  the emergency room.  The patient had come in with a history of abdominal pain and I performed an appropriate physical extermination of the patient, including a rectal examination.  I came to  the conclusion that the patient need surgery and I called the surgeon on call.   He performed his physical examination and said to the patient that he had to do a rectal examination.
   "Dr. Smith just did a rectal examination," the poor patient pointed out.
   "The problem is," the surgeon said, "that Dr.Smith's index finger is not connected to my brain!".
    And that, is why the important, probing thoughts, the connections between the brain and the paper require the multidisciplinary skills of cursive writing, to adequately convey those thoughts.   The consequences of abandoning it will be detrimental.

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