New Brunswick — The debate has been raging over whether to keep instructing children how to write in cursive, and New Brunswick schools have at last opted to continue teaching the dying art.
“It’ll still be the same grammatically flawed nonsense riddled with spelling errors we’ve come to expect from graduates of New Brunswick schools, but it’ll look pretty, and we think that’s good enough,” said Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Dominic Cardy.
“No, these kids won’t be able to do taxes, write a resumé, argue a point without resorting to insults and name-calling — but they’ll be able to read ancient birthday cards that have collected dust on top of refrigerators for decades. And they’ll be able to sign their unemployment cheques with an artistic flourish.
“We need to take a win where we can get one. It takes just a few days for someone to learn cursive, but it takes years to learn real writing skills. And given our time and budgetary constraints, the choice wasn’t tough.”
Advocates for cursive fought tooth and nail to keep it in schools.
“I work at a museum and my eyesight is failing,” said Shirley Olsen. “I need to hire kids for summer internships who can read the cursive on historical documents to me. You know, just so I can be sure they still say the same things as they always did back when I could read them myself. So yes, I’m quite thankful kids will continue to learn this dwindling art form.
“Now, if they could only tell time on an analog clock or fill out their work applications, we’d be laughing!”
Some parents are indifferent to cursive classes, saying there are more important things to focus on in school.
“What about teaching them how to actually write a complete sentence, in either official language?” said Mary Everton, mother of two teens. “To my knowledge, neither of my kids can speak French and they’ve been in French immersion for years. They can forge my signature on a permission slip, though — I guess that’s all that matters, eh?”
“Kids can’t write even with the help of spellcheck,” said Bob Horton, whose kids have graduated and moved away. “Adults in New Brunswick can’t, either — I mean, just look at the comments on CBC any given day if you want proof — and cursive takes away that crutch. It’ll look fancy, but it’ll still make no sense. It’ll be hilariously bad.”