Cursive: the write stuff
Cursive makes a comeback — by law — in California public schools | Dec. 3
The article regarding cursive sadly quotes an education professor who derides including cursive in school curricula. “Keyboarding skills are more important,” the professor intones, yet recent studies show that students who took notes by hand did much better in retaining information than those who used laptops to make their notes. While the piece did allude to some of the benefits of cursive writing and its positive relation to academic achievement, the improved memory functions are just a part of the advantages. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) machines have been used to pinpoint which parts of the brain are used during critical functions, and this “brain mapping” has shown that during cursive writing both right and left hemispheres of the brain are active, something that isn’t happening either while keyboarding or even writing in print. When both hemispheres of the brain are used simultaneously, brain researchers say that it improves our skills at innovation, analyzing problems and creative thinking. So to all those who think cursive is a waste of educational resources, I say: Write on!
Charlie Reese, Lutz
Stay the course, one at a time
Helping more Florida college students graduate | Dec. 3
I am an adjunct professor at Hillsborough Community College. I share Matt Smith’s concern about students who don’t complete their education. He should consider recommending the approach I took. I earned a master’s at the University of Baltimore by taking one course a semester, including the summer semester. A program that would take two years to complete attending full time took me six, but I kept at it and earned my degree. The slow-but-sure approach helps students with family and work responsibilities complete their education. Schools may have to relax requirements that mandate students complete their course of study within a given number of years, but it would be worth relaxing these standards if it helps the students.
Harold Emanuel, Sun City Center
UFOs and IOUs
Republican Florida colleagues demand information | Dec. 1
My spouse and I are retirees. As we are fretting over the dramatic increase in both our home and auto insurance, I was delighted to see that two of our Florida representatives in Congress, Anna Paulina Luna and Matt Gaetz, are working hard to demand from the federal government information about UFOs.
Joseph Ferrandino, Land O’ Lakes
A different Republican
From the left and the right | Column, Dec. 3
Many Republicans including myself would like to see President Joe Biden retire at the end of his term and a Republican candidate for president who is not driven by grievances, lies and retribution. A Republican candidate, female or male, who embodies the best of conservative and centrist policies and practices and believes in our democracy would be refreshing. As “from the right” writer Jim Geraghty points out in his excerpted column, if three Republican hopefuls continue running, the anti-Trump Republican vote may be divided and empty. This is sage advice in an already fractious and uncertain campaign for the next president.
James Gillespie, St. Petersburg
Spend your days with Hayes
Subscribe to our free Stephinitely newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Insurance for guns
Waiting period for gun purchases | Dec. 2
If one needs insurance to own a car, why shouldn’t owning a gun require insurance as well? Cars and guns can both be considered deadly weapons. I would love to hear the pros and cons for this scenario.
Eric Sigmond, South Pasadena
Chatting with Jimmy Buffett
A musical empire was built | Dec. 3
Oh, what memories. It was 1979. I left my Miami hotel very early, working my way through the Keys, stopping for lunch at a Key West bar. The owner was serving, we hit it off, and he shared his personal experiences with me about having to leave Detroit real fast. A good guy, now mayor. Headed for Key West airport, settling in at their restaurant, I ordered Key Lime pie. Delicious. Best I ever had, homemade daily by a local grandmother. A couple newspapers, and I was all set to read in the gate waiting area. The man next to me had a guitar, he was a friendly sort, and we began to chat. He asked me about my Nikon camera loaded with a roll of Kodak Tri-X Pan film — that tells you how long ago we met. He told me about his music, I said that I was not really into any kind of country, but he described how his approach was different. Waiting for our late plane, we discussed what had been happening in the south, wars, the market and politics. We really hit it off. He was a very talented, intelligent, nice and cool man. Jimmy Buffett was his name. At dinner in Tampa that night, as I described my meeting, my teenage daughter looked up, waving her fork: “You were with Jimmy Buffett, and you did not get me his autograph?”
Larry Quigley, Northdale