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Old 08-01-2016, 02:10 PM   #61
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That's what I thought too when I was in HS (except for the app part, no "apps" back then).

Then I wanted to learn to fly an airplane and the question arises: "Your airplane holds 36 gallons of fuel and burns 8.7 gallons per hour at cruise, which is 120 mph. You want to fly 450 miles and there is a 10 mph wind 30° to the left off the nose. Will you make it or run out of fuel and crash & burn in the mountains?" About that time algebra becomes very, very interesting!

I would not want to put myself in a position wherein I and my passengers die because I forgot to charge the phone battery. So with algebra the stakes can be a little higher than cursive writing. Unless you want to get into doctor's writing and prescriptions....
Good for you for using it--that sounds more like calculus? No? Have you used it with paper and pencil in the years since you last flew? Like I said, yes to teaching it, but the relevancy of many subjects could be questioned re their future applicability. Some people think the most important things taught in school are staying on task, getting along in cooperative groups, and listening to an authoritarian figure, regardless of the subject matter (why yes that does sound like most j*bs ).
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:18 PM   #62
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you've obviously never graded written actuarial exams
Give it another decade and everything will be typed. Most of it already is - especially in MS and HS - certainly college
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:25 PM   #63
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Good for you for using it--that sounds more like calculus? No? Have you used it with paper and pencil in the years since you last flew?
Actually, we cheated and had a hand-powered calculator to do the wind and fuel burn calculations (I still have it somewhere) but I think now they use an electronic calculator. I did do some by hand for "back of the envelope" planning. Still, at the time I wanted to fully understand what was going on with the math because the cost of mistakes is potentially very high.

I still use it some for financial planning but admittedly not very much because there are so many calculators out there.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #64
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I had to learn in elementary school, and then promptly never used it. Always print when I hand wrote, except my signature - which could hardly be called cursive. My printing is just as fast as cursive, and end result is way neater.

I think as computers and other electronic devices become more prevalent, the need for handwritten cursive goes down. Besides I can just use different fonts when I want fancy looking text
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:33 PM   #65
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Sigh. I fear for the future of our country...
No need to fear - if it's worth anything, humankind will rediscover it. See the Asimov Sci-fi story The Feeling of Power:

In the distant future, humans live in a computer-aided society and have forgotten the fundamentals of mathematics, including even the rudimentary skill of counting.

The Terrestrial Federation is at war with Deneb, and the war is conducted by long-range weapons controlled by computers which are expensive and hard to replace. Myron Aub, a low grade Technician, discovers how to reverse-engineer the principles of pencil-and-paper arithmetic from computers—a development which is later dubbed "Graphitics". The discovery is appropriated by the military establishment, who use it to re-invent their understanding of mathematics. They also plan to replace their computer-operated ships with lower cost, more expendable (in their opinion) manned ships to continue the war.

Aub is so upset by the appropriation of his discovery for military purposes that he commits suicide. As Aub's funeral proceeds, his supervisor realizes that even with Aub dead, the advancement of Graphitics is unstoppable. He executes simple multiplications in his mind without help from any machine, which gives him a great feeling of power.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #66
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Sigh. I fear for the future of our country...
I fear just the opposite - cursive is just about the only thing parents have the advantage over their children's schoolwork and can without doubt say "let me show you how it's done".
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:40 PM   #67
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Some people think the most important things taught in school are staying on task, getting along in cooperative groups, and listening to an authoritarian figure, regardless of the subject matter (why yes that does sound like most j*bs ).
That reminds me of the first 8 weeks I spent in the military during basic training!

(and I didn't need my 5 courses in calculus and differential equations to do that)
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:48 PM   #68
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Actually since cursive is a minor form of Calligraphy, (definition of Calligraphy:" a : artistic, stylized, or elegant handwriting or lettering b : the art of producing such writing" It seems appropriate to move it to art. Of course Calligraphy is very much an art in Asia, as writing beautiful posters is appreciated there.
Now one can actually come close with tools called Tex and Metafont on computers to produce printed documents that look hand written. Indeed there are places that sell computer calligraphy services for example to make wedding invatations envelopes look handwritten without having to actually write. Indeed this website has fonts that you can use in Word to print out things that appear to be calligraphy.
One of the interesting things about today's hand calligraphy at least for wedding invitations is that it no longer should look perfect (which used to be the goal, of course)--otherwise the recipients may not realize it is hand-done at some cost.. A little inconsistency and imperfection are necessary. A smart font designer would include a dozen or variations of each character for a Word document to randomly use and thus fool at least some of the people who are looking closely/obsessively at the printing.
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:51 PM   #69
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People don't even know the difference between "there", "their", and "they're"...perhaps those basic skills should be learned first?
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:55 PM   #70
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People don't even know the difference between "there", "their", and "they're"...perhaps those basic skills should be learned first?
Their's a difference?
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:23 PM   #71
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In my former occupation, examinations of the workplace had to be hand written and signed in ink in a special book made for that purpose. It was federal and state law, and is considered a felony if purposely not written or completed. The books had to be countersigned by many other people and had to be kept for a three year minimum. They were/are legal documents.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:26 PM   #72
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I use it everyday. Really old I suppose.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:45 PM   #73
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I get a feeling that the state passing the law tells you a lot about the law's real meaning. It isn't that kids need or will ever use cursive, it is symbolic of something a portion of the local voters feel we have lost. It feels like mom and apple pie to a lot of voters the legislature is pandering to.

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Old 08-01-2016, 03:54 PM   #74
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I think kids should learn a little cursive, enough so that they can go on and customize their own handwriting (I'm also a big fan of the unitasking concentration it fosters and agree 100 percent with the fine motor skills contribution too--also think rote memorization is important to feature but I'm sure that's out the window too). I hate that the idea of teaching cursive has become part of a movement with sub-political themes. So many things are taught in school that could be questioned--why teach printing either when kids will be pushing buttons on a keyboard or just speaking into a microphone to create text vs using a pen or pencil? And seriously, the no. 1 question asked by high school students: "will I ever use algebra after I graduate?" (Answer: no, there's an app for that). I imagine more people use at least a little cursive than ever use a little algebra (not to knock algebra--it too trains the brain even for those of us who were non-STEM professionals).

Funny, my handwriting truly sucks in spite of learning cursive from the nuns in second grade and spending a career in the word industry where I used it every day, and I scored 99th percentile on my math SATs back in the day and never took another math class after high school.

The problems with this thinking in red are probably many.... but I will highlight a few....


1. As mentioned, the phone battery can die... I am surprised how many of my daughters friends will say they have a dead battery...

2. Using an app does not create any critical thinking... my daughter is a straight A student going into 7th... at the store I will ask her if it is better to buy X or Y... she just can not do the math!!! And sometimes the answer she gives is SO far off I do not know what she is thinking... do not get me wrong, when I ask her friends they do not know either (well, except one who is really smart in math)... again, she is an A student!!!

3. Going with #2... even if you get an answer from the app... it COULD be wrong... maybe the app just does not work correctly all the time.... maybe a number was put in wrong... maybe a sign was reversed.... having the ability to do these kind of math problems without an app will hopefully give the person the ability to know if an answer seems reasonable.... IOW, using the plane post as an example.... if you have 10 gallons and can get 20 mpg if everything is good and you get an answer that you can fly 500 miles you KNOW something is wrong...
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:01 PM   #75
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I don't really see the point of cursive. Hardly anybody under 60 handwrites anything. Come to think of it - maybe under 80.

The meme of "But how will we read the original Declaration of Independence?" has been making the rounds, and my response is, "Are you afraid someone will sneak something new into the Bill of Rights?"

At school, we were taught a juvenile, rounded scrawl that looked like a bunch of "o's" all run together. It was easy to write with a ball point pen. Some of the girls made it cutesy-poo by putting little circles or hearts over all the small letter "i" 's. By contrast, the boys' version tended to be cramped and unreadable. I hated all of it. I developed a slanted, joined printing that I used until college, when I acquired a typewriter and started typing everything.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:03 PM   #76
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I was taught penmanship in grade school - had an actual penmanship teacher come in to teach it. This was in public school mid 50's in the Northeast. I still use my penmanship and I very much enjoy sitting, composing and writing a notes or thank you notes to people. I also enjoy using the computer and am very computer literate. But as someone earlier today stated, I don't know if a state law needs to be mandated to teach cursive. I think it should be left to the local school board to oversee the curriculum. When my two sons were in third grade, it was interesting to see the difference in their penmanship. One teacher actually took the time to teach penmanship and handwriting and my other son's teacher gave a very short lesson as she told me she didn't have the time. Personally, I think she didn't have the inclination either. There is a remarkable difference in my sons' signatures.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:06 PM   #77
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Actually in aviation folks are taught the use of the E-6B https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E6B, which is effectively a slide rule for doing aviation calculations.
So its battery is unlikely to die. Unlike a traditional slide rule it hides the trig required for vector calculations, (which is what the side wind calculation is). It was invented before WWII and was used a lot during that war.
Or going back a bit further the slide rule did require one to know more and figureout how the decimal point was moving around, let alone log tables which I used in a couple of exams in chemistry in 1969. (lots of adding and subtracting there but the decimal point did take care of itself)
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:44 PM   #78
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Actually in aviation folks are taught the use of the E-6B https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E6B, which is effectively a slide rule for doing aviation calculations.
Yeah, that's what it is! I'd forgotten the name of it. Mine is still in the basement somewhere.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:49 PM   #79
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He realized that he was witnessing the first wave of the 'new math' generation (early 60's) that had come through the pipeline.
Perfect time to bring in Tom Lehrer.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:53 PM   #80
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FWIW - I use basic math all the time. As in the example cited above to compare prices per ounce of different brands of the same product. Also to figure out gas mileage, number of bricks to pave a driveway, amount of paint needed to paint a room, time estimate to go a distance if no traffic... then modified for traffic....

My husband regularly uses trig in various projects around the house... but as a former architect, it's ingrained in him.
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