I had a look at the sample on amazon and I'm not sure this is the book for me. It seems to me that it's very important that a book like this avoid telling people that it's their own fault they have bad handwriting. It may be or it may not be. It doesn't matter who's fault it is, we're ready now to improve.
Oh dear. Sorry for the confusion. The pictures above are from the practice book modern business penmanship. The further I get into this book, the harder it is to read the writing. Part of the problem is there's a lot of variation in the examples. It would also be useful if there was a printed key to what the examples are trying to spell.
Here's my practice from this morning.
The R takes a lot of time and skill to write but even still, it looks a lot like an S. Thinking about how I normally write, I tend to make the lower case S and R printed so I can read what they are.
Now that I've moved beyond the basic exercises in the Modern Business Penmanship book, I'm rediscovering my biggest problem with cursive writing: reading.
this is some of the practice for the letter R
And this is some of the practice for the letter S
If we don't already know what the words are, or how to spell them, it's difficult to figure out which letters are where. Look at the middle line of the S section. I thought that said 'sum', probably because the line above it is 'some'. Some, sun... see? Oh wait, there's a 'see' right after the word 'sum'... but that's a bit sloppy, the 'u' in sum looks like 'ee' in see... hmmm. Maybe that's not 'sum'. Now I'm off to google what word spells like 'seem'. Oh, so apparently sometimes 'seam' is spelt 'seem'.
All this is frustrating and now I'm grasping my pen with intense frustration.
How can I stop getting frustrated?
what was my goal? To have tidy and legible handwriting.
So I'm exposing some of the core problems with my handwriting. Maybe this is part of the core problem with teaching handwriting to people who aren't good with reading? Maybe there's a solution hidden here? I don't know what it is.
A few months ago I discovered that I can borrow map books from my library. I was going to a nearby island and I mentioned to the librarian that the local Auto Association didn't have a map for the island and couldn't get one in on time. She told me to hold on a moment, then came back with the mapbook I needed. Brilliant!
Mark Whitecavage wrote:...who doesn’t have a smart phone today? ....
Books have a marvellous advantage over the internet - their content is carefully chosen and curated. The information on the internet is there-ish, but it's incomplete. The internet is great for discovering new ideas, but I find it frustratingly ignorant when I want to discover the details. So I turn to books for detailed research and understanding.
The internet is changing so one day it may evolve into a truly epic resource to rival the libraries. I think there's a long way to go.
But there's also cost. I can read the book series I've been borrowing from the library. It costs $12 per book and then I either have to store a copy of the file somewhere or hope the e-book provider doesn't change their mind and remove it from their catalogue. I've had several good books that I purchased via Amazon, removed from my device because they pulled the book. Alternatively, I can borrow the book as many times as I wish from the library, for free. It takes them one to three days to get the book to my nearest location unless someone else has requested it first. It may not be as fast as the internet, but I like that everything has its rhythm. By borrowing the books from the library instead of buying them, I get to work about 3 days less a month because of all the money I save on books (and nearly 4 days a month I don't have to work because I don't have a smartphone or television subscription). A whole weeks vacation a month. Love it!
If I had a different e-reader, I could borrow these same ebooks from my library instantly for free.
The book is from 1946 and is Modern Household Encyclopedia; DeLuxe Edition. It's in pretty poor shape with a ring from someone's mug on the cover. As for resale value, I think I would have to pay someone to take it. But it's a very good reference book for all sorts of information. I use it quite often.
I would like to repair it in a way that lasts. Maybe ... what's the word? Archival? So that the glue and other repair ingredients don't damage the book over time. I want it to remain easy to use.
It's not a huge pain having the inside unattached from the outside. But I imagine it would be fun to learn how to repair a book.
There is a paper that is glued to the inside of the cover and keeps going so that it looks like a blank page at the front and back of the book. This paper is still here which complicates my idea of how I would repair it. But maybe this makes things easier?
I've been on a reading spree this month. I've read two to four books a week, not including research where I don't read cover-to-cover. That's an average of 3 books a week, for six weeks, that would have cost me $12 a book... that equals a lot of money I didn't spend on books this winter. Because I borrowed the books from the library, I saved over $200 which means I don't have to work that many extra hours to pay for my reading habit which means I have more time to read and do fun things.
It's missing two pages from the front of the book. I know this because the first signature (bundles of pages) has two unattached pages at the end of the signature. The whole filling is detached from the cover and I was wondering how I can attach the cover to the book again. Any thoughts?
Ben Waimata wrote: This included getting rid of summer wool.
Can you tell me more about this?
In my climate, we encourage wool in the summer because it helps insulate against the heat. It keeps them cool. A bit like how some traditions wear massive amounts of wool clothing in the desert to keep the heat out. Summer wool growth is also the highest profit for us as this has less weather stress and debris. We generally sheer twice a year.
But every farm and climate is unique and has different needs. I would love to learn more about your set up.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I'm wondering if there aren't many books about improving handwriting for adults because, back when people needed good penmanship, they were taught it as children. And, now, when people aren't taught good penmanship, it's not valued, so there aren't many people trying to learn and therefore not much demand for such a book.
I'm wondering if now is the time to write such a book.
Looking around, I'm finding antiquated handwriting guides (which are good, but not really what we want in modern handwriting) and I'm finding guides for kids. It's the learning/teaching style that failed to teach me how to write. I'm also feeling that learning to write as an adult means unlearning how to write badly - a very different set of muscle memory practice.
I'm finding several recent books on the decline of handwriting which seem to conclude that handwriting is just as important now as it always was.
I think in the next four to five years, as the people who learned very little, if any, handwriting in school come of age, that there will be demand for books that help adults improve their handwriting. It would be a combination of theory and practice in a highly legible font. Maybe with extra practice books and spin-off books built specifically for fountain pens.
I wouldn't mind publishing a book like this with my new publishing company. I can see how and where to market it. I would just need to find someone to write it. I'll put it out there in case there is someone out there who is obsessed with improving handwriting. The test will be if you can make my writing legible, then you're the person to write this book.
I got a couple of dozen books out from the library about, what I hoped would be improving my handwriting.
I searched "handwriting" and found a couple of books about the history of handwriting and concern about the greater consequence of the digital age destroying this skill.
I searched "Calligraphy" and got a bunch of books on decorative writing. Writing as art rather than writing for communication. I learned a lot about pens, inks, and other tools. The book Complete Calligraphy Skills by Vivien Lunniss was the most useful.
The big problem with calligraphy is that I cannot read most of these decorative fonts. But after thumbing through some of the books, I confirmed that I like Spencerian script (late 19th Century American handwriting style) and a slightly older, British writing style called Copperplate. I have trouble reading many of the capital letters, but the lowercase makes sense to me.
These two styles want a flexible nib so that we can change the thickness of the stroke by increasing or decreasing pressure on the pen. I don't think my fountain pens can do this. They are also written with a thin tip pen which I like. I find a lot of the problem I have reading calligraphy is the way the lines go thick and thin make the individual letters look off balanced and start spinning. But with these two styles, Spencerian and Copperplate, the thick and thin elements of the letters aren't so distracting.
Although I like the look of copperplate fonts better, I am going to start with learning Spencerian because those are the books I ordered from Amazon and it is designed to be written quickly.
I searched "penmanship" and got a lot of books about boats because the library's search system anticipates what I want to say and thinks "hmmm, penmanship, penmanship, nope, nothing much here, I bet this human means seamanship, yes, that must be it, I'll give some results about boats"
What I would really like to find is a book about re-learning how to handwrite as an adult. I might take my question to the librarian next time I'm in to see what kind of search phrases might give me books like this. In the meantime, learning calligraphy will teach my eyes and hands some new skills which I assume will improve my every day writing skills.
Nicole Alderman wrote:In your case, you might benefit from learning to write in a dyslexia-friendly font. It might retain your hands, while at the same time helping your brain perceive letters better.
That's a good idea. Are there any dyslexia-friendly handwritten fonts?
I noticed while doing these writing exercises that all the lines together are making me a bit queasy. A bit like the strobe lite on a bicycle makes me queasy and dizzy while driving (why cyclists want to make drivers moving towards them feel dizzy is a great mystery to me). I'm going to fish out my weaving glasses from the other room that are supposed to reduce eye fatigue while doing work at arm's length.
Working through some more practices today, I noticed that having my pen more upright like I talked about in the last post, makes a much thinner line which uses less ink and bleeds less on the page than my normal grip. I still don't have very good control but it's interesting that changing the angle of the pen can make such a difference.
Timothy Markus wrote:Does Grammarly give you the options of different dialects?
Yes, Grammarly has some adjustment for different dialects. I think this was available in the free version as well. In the paid version, I can adjust for different context - business, technical, persuasive, informative, high emotion, low emotion, and a whole bunch of other options. I think that's where they excel - contextual grammar and spelling. It also likes consistency in spelling - so for example, if we use a spelling like 'neighbour' then it suggests that any words ending in -ize are changed to -ise.
I have my Grammarly set to British English because I want to use a spelling that is easily understood internationally. Canadian spelling is too fluid for me right now. A lot of government and even schools are now using a variation of American Spelling in their official documents. So it's a bit difficult to use Canadian spelling these days because Canada isn't certain what that is anymore.
However, internationally, I noticed there's a preference for British Spelling.
While I wait for my books on improving penmanship, I'm looking around the internet for ideas on things I can practice. It looks like the first step is holding the pen correctly.
This is how I hold my pen now. The weight of the pen rests in the crook of my hand and on the second segment of my middle finger. The hand rests lightly on its edge.
It's very comfortable and I can write for about an hour with a fountain pen or pencil before my hand cramps. I can write for about eight letters with a ballpoint pen before my hand cramps. As much as I love this way of writing, my penmanship is not good. So to improve my penmanship, I must first re-learn to hold a pen.
My first attempt is less than impressive. It uses a different muscle group in my upper arm to keep my wrist parallel to the desk. I can't see the nib and the weight of the pen feels all wrong. Like it's both heavier and lighter at the same time.
Maybe I haven't got the technique right yet? As I'm typing this, I notice that my hand is in almost the correct position while tickling the keyboard. Maybe I can use this muscle memory to teach myself to hold the pen this new/old way?
However, my left hand has no problem with this technique. Unlearning is going to be more difficult than learning from scratch. I wonder I would get better results just teaching my left hand to write clearly? I would have to set up a special pen for the task because almost all my nibs are worn for right-handed writing.
Then there's this video that suggests I've been holding the pen correctly the whole time.
I used mink oil to moisten the leather. I wanted to use neatsfoot oil because I like the result better. It seems to absorb into the leather faster. But that was in the workshop so I went with the mink.
Being very careful to only oil the outside of the leather, I did several light coats of oil instead of one thick sloppy coat as I would normally do to soften the leather. Once it stopped being crumbly I sewed the lens cap back on.
Because I didn't get any oil on the back of the leather, I was able to glue a strip of twill tape on the inside of the case. This acts like a hinge and worked like a charm. Thankfully I had a bit of twill tape exactly the right size.
The problem is the twill tape is white, so when the case is open, it's now really obvious. I'm going to seek out some old shoe polish and see if I can change the colour of the twill tape. If I do this again, I would probably dye the cloth with some arbutus bark and coffee to match the colour before glueing it together.
But the fix works and it looks perfect from the outside. If I can find a bit of leather thin enough and the right colour, I may sew it on the outside later, but this fix might be enough on its own. Time will tell.
I love my stainless steel pans (almost as much as my cast iron ones). Stainless steel are 100% non-stick when they come from the factory. The key is that they are smooth so there's nothing for the food to grab hold of. After 12 years of daily use, one of our pans is only partly non-stick because of a scratch. The rest are still non-stick. But it was easy to keep these non-stick by
1) avoid all metal from going near the pan - eliminate all metal cooking utensils from the house except for the ones stored with the cast iron.
2) avoid salting cold water which causes pockmarks which gets rid of the smooth
3) avoid all metal serving utensils (move the food into a serving dish when guests are over to prevent them from scratching the pan with the ladle)
4) never wash with metal or scrubbuds. I wash in soap and water with a soft cloth and a wooden paddle for scraping.
That's how I keep new pans non-stick. Fixing scratched ones is more of a challenge. I usually polish them with stainless steel polish for big scratches or pockmarks, or baking soda for small scratches. It takes about an hour of heavy scrubbing but it's so worth it!
Seasoning stainless steel is new to me. Thanks for posting about it. I'm off to read more.
I've always been acutely aware that learning about colour is a conscious act for me. It wasn't until recently that I discovered that it isn't for most people. They seem to learn about colour naturally. I want to improve my ability to understand and use colour in my creative works, so I've started reading the book Color Problems which is a practical guide to understanding and using colour published in 1901. Some of the science of how the eye works is a bit ... creative by our standards. But I've learned all sorts of fascinating things from this book already. When my eyes are tired from reading words, I look at the pictures (the book has over 100 coloured prints)
This one, in particular, grabbed my attention.
Without reading the words, the grouping of colours seemed quite natural to me. But then I read the chapter about colour blindness and some of the different ways it manifests. It's funny, I can see that these aren't grouped by the colour they are supposed to be and yet, the groupings seem to make sense to me.
Now I'm curious about colourbliness. I know I'm not because I've been tested many times. But maybe there are many ways to perceive and interpret colour? I don't know. It's just an idle thought I had.
I'm going to bounce around google for a while to learn more about how people who are colour blind perceive the world. I want to learn more about this. Are there different kinds of colour blindness? What does it mean? Do people see the world in greyscale? Google will tell me, I'm sure. But I thought it would be fun to start a thread about it and see where it leads.
I suspect the point of this thread is that words that are very offensive in one part of the world, have no such emotional baggage in another.
Person A uses a word as they understand it to mean: for example faggot for describing a bundle of small sticks.
Person B lives in a part of the world where that word is an extreme insult.
Person A has no idea that Person B is insulted by this word. Person B is angry and upset that Person A is being deliberately offensive.
A has no idea there is a problem. B has no idea that A has no idea there is a problem. Things escalate.
This thread is about communicating. It's about helping people understand that this situation happens. Neither A nor B is to blame. But maybe B has the advantage because they are aware that something is wrong here, and they can use the tools at their disposal to communicate their discomfort. We have a snazzy report button that is perfect for this situation. Person B politely draws the attention of the moderators to the post in question and lets us know that this word is causing unpleasantness.