I've got a surprising confession.
I failed penmanship in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades.
And when I say failed I mean as in a big fat "F" in the little square on your report card next to the word "penmanship".
I've got another confession.
I'm a lefty.
Back in my day you couldn't be a lefty. Try it and a big fat ruler would come flying out of the solar system directly on your offending left hand.
I am not a troublemaker, so I switched that pencil over in a mighty quick hurry.
And, then failed penmanship for the next four years. I just couldn't get the hang of it. It became an obsession in the most obsessive kind of way. Seriously, who fails something like penmanship? I don't even think that should be possible.
This whole situation bothered me. It bothered me a lot.
One day, my mother told me she had signed me up for a class at the library. It was called, "Calligraphy". When I asked her what that meant, she told me it was a class to learn fancy handwriting.
Really? I couldn't even handle the regular handwriting, I was really going to bomb at this. I wonder what that teacher will use to smack me in the hand? A fancy ruler?
Anyway, I had no choice but to go.
We started at the very beginning, "Okay, this is your hand. This is a calligraphy pen. You hold the pen in your hand. (Uh Oh, here it comes) Hold it in whichever hand you choose."
Is this for real? Whichever hand you choose?
Which hand do you think I chose?
I went with the right one. I'm kind of a nut that way. I tend to do the opposite of what most folks would expect me to do.
I was thinking that maybe calligraphy would get this hand into shape.
So I took that calligraphy pen in my right hand, placed it in my hand at a 45 degree angle, and drew a tiny line straight down.
It worked. It was straight and looked just like every one else's.
So, I did it again. And I did it again. And I did it again about a thousand more times. I went home and did it about a million more times. I spent every day after school practicing stroke after stroke until I had mastered the entire alphabet. Upper AND lower cases!
Less than 10 years later, I entered college as an ... ART MAJOR!
Less than 10 years after that, I financed my wedding by providing calligraphy and envelope addressing services to other brides.
Yes, I was a professional (!) handwriter!!