I remember it well. I remember sitting in my fourth grade class, we were grading math homework and she said it. She, my fourth grade teacher, who I have forever named the "witch."
"You write like chicken scratch," she said.
In front of my entire class, she embarrassed me. What kind of teacher does that. The worst part was, she refused to let anyone grade my math homeworks. It wasn't sloppy writing, it wasn't something i just threw together, it was just how I wrote. It wasn't graceful, i'm sure it wasn't the worst there ever was. It didn't end there. She proceeded to send me to the coat closet and locked me in there until I finished rewriting a weeks worth of homework with direct orders from the witch, "you'll stay in there until I find your writing acceptable." I cried. I rewrote. I cried some more and rewrote some more.
I'd like to say there was some silver-lining, that there was some major life lesson I learned. Mainly I learned that teachers can be mean and they are not all good. (although years later, I learned she received teacher of the year, something I will still never understand.)
I'd like to say after that incident that I not have perfect penmanship, I don't. In fact, I have a strange combo of cursive and print. Mainly cursive. I write slow, I write messy.
That doesn't take away from the words that I write.
On writing with grace,
Try new things.
I think about this story a lot. Anytime I can't read my own writing, I mumble "chicken scratch."
Seventeen year later, I decided to do something "fun" about it.
Scarlet and Gold Shop offered a free beginners livestream calligraphy class that was a lot of fun. I'm not sure if i'll ever write calligraphy well and gracefully but I can write, "Let's write pretty," okay.
Someday, maybe I will learn my name.