Standards—a parable

In second grade (1961), I had a “Westcott” ruler, branded in cursive.  I imitated the “Wes” on one of my homework papers and was reprimanded: “We learn cursive in third grade.”  Then I was in the hospital during cursive instruction and when I got out, no one cared that I didn’t know it—until fifth grade, when I was forced to work hard on cursive after school every day.  In sixth grade, I went back to printing, which I’ve done ever since with no one complaining.  Apparently: cursive is a bad thing in second grade, an essential thing to know in fifth grade, and totally irrelevant the rest of your life.  (I think there’s a parable in there about educational standards)

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