Monthly Archives: November 2013

The disappearance of cursive

The disappearance of cursive
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on November 26, 2013.  Posted with permission.

One of the most awkward moments in the Trayvon Martin murder trial was the prosecution’s star witness, Rachel Jeantel, who was unable to read a letter she had dictated to someone else.

“I can’t read cursive,” she said on national television.

Pundits quickly pointed to an inadequate educational system that could allow Rachel Jeantel to ascend to the rank of high school senior without being able to read her own words.

These accusations are misguided because schools don’t teach cursive writing anymore.  In fact, the Common Core Curriculum sweeping the nation does not include cursive handwriting.

I’ve anecdotally polled elementary teachers for their reactions, and I’ve received the pessimistic, “These kids have more pressing issues than that,” to “Cursive is an anachronism.  Keyboarding all the way!”

Others lament cursive’s demise.  I’m with them. Education has been nipping and tucking for decades. Art, music and recess have been dumped in favor of the very limited, immediately-testable skills that are cost-effective to measure.

It is an era of intellectual austerity.

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The true mirror

The True Mirror:  Can you really see yourself?
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on November 19, 2013.  Posted with permission.

Look at yourself in the mirror.  If you think you’re seeing yourself, you’re mistaken.  You’re backwards.

Angelika Linke's cat Josie looking into the True Mirror

Angelika Linke and her cat Josie look into the True Mirror. Linke uses the mirror for meditation workshops.

This is not insignificant, according to John Walter, an artist/scientist who creates True Mirrors.  Unlike a standard mirror that flips your image, the True Mirror displays exactly how you look to the rest of the world.  Standing in front of a True Mirror is stepping outside of yourself, and you are seeing yourself accurately for the first time.

Unconvinced?  Google “Abraham Lincoln mirror image” and you will see the juxtaposition between the world’s perspective and his own.

Do other people know you better than you know yourself?

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The beauty of the blindfold

The beauty of the blindfold
By Nancy B. Loughlin
(Published in News Press November 12, 2013.  Posted with permission.)

with rina

Rina Jacubowicz teaches blindfolded yoga.

The more we rely on sight, the more externally oriented we become. Some estimates are as high as 80% of what we know is gathered by sight.

But yogini Rina Jakubowicz of Miami said that the more we rely on sight, the more we flatten and ignore our intuition as well as our other senses which can provide a plethora of information and truth.

Jakubowicz has been teaching blindfolded yoga for years and hopes to help people to develop their intuitions through the practice.

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