(via NY Times)
The new American educational curriculum called the Common Core State Standards Initiative is being discussed in the news in part because cursive writing is no longer going to be required instruction. Handwriting instruction has been waning and many states have already chosen not to require it. A national chance in teaching strategies in the US will pretty much guarantee that the few remaining states teaching it, will abandon it as well.
I’m at a loss what to say. So much more is gained in learning penmanship beyond merely the skill to read and write the characters: motor skills, brain pathways, patience and so much more…
I won’t rant here, but there’s plenty of other people who have said it:
- Killing Cursive is Killing History (via The Huffington Post)
- Is Cursive’s Day in the Classroom Done? (via USA Today)
- Video: Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger: Campaign for Cursive (via Stephen Colbert)
Some links from the graphics (couldn’t find the Washington Post article):
- School Debate Cursive Handwriting Instruction (via Huffington Post)
- Core Standards In the States (via Core Standards)
- Can You Read This? It’s Cursive (via NYTimes)
- Is Cursive Writing Dead (via CBS News)
- The Importance of Teaching Handwriting in the 21st Century (via Zaner Bloser)
(graphic via Montessorium)
As we all know here, “The reports of my (pen) death have been greatly exaggerated.” However, NPR decided to report on the demise of the pen market. The story featured Milwaukee’s Daly’s Pen Shop, in business since 1924. The story isn’t as gloom-and-doom as I thought it would be though it did startle some folks in the comments with the prices for a decent fountain pen (prices mentioned in the story included a $295 Visconti and talk of a Montblanc for $1000). Also mentioned is a $40 Cross pen and a $150 Pilot Vanishing Point.
I was not familiar with Daly’s Pen Shop prior to the story. The customers seem to make the trek to Daly’s because it has such a cool vintage vibe. I definitely have to take a trip up to Milwaukee to visit Daly’s Pen Shop. Sounds like my kind of place.
Have a listen to the story and then read all the comments that listeners have left. Would you rather have a great fountain pen or a new iPhone? I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive but right now, I’d rather have a new pen.
Attention, Readers! I am had a major code fail. If you have sent me comments or questions via the ASK THE DESK comment form, they fell into the Internet abyss due to a stray letter in my form code.
It has be fixed!
Please resubmit your comments and questions and I humbly apologize if you feel I have been ignoring your urgent needs. This is particularly true of any giveaway winners who may have used the form to send me their address.
Thank you for your understanding.
- Penmanship Workshop (on Thursday in Chicago!) (via Behind The Curtain)
Nock Co. Reviews and Previews:
- The Nock Co. Hightower 3+1 (via The Clicky Post)
- The Nock Co. Sassafras (via From The Pen Cup)
- The Nock Co. Lookout Pen Case (via Ed Jelley)
- William H. Gross Stamp Gallery Opening (via Smithsonian Postal Museum)
- A Personal Account of the Gross Stamp Gallery Opening (via Letter Writers Alliance)
- Ex Postal Facto Mail Art Call (via Letter Writers Alliance)
- The Pencil by Staedtler (via Pencil Talk)
- The Sonic Rachetta Pencil Sharpener (via Pencil Revolution)
- Les Crayons de la Maison Caran d’Ache Edition #2 (via Pencil Talk)
- Hi-Uni Mixed Grade Pencils (via Pencil Revolution)
- Pentel Sharp Carbon Black 0.5 mm Drafting Pencil Review (via Pen Addict)
- Helix Pencil Top Sharpener Combo (via Pencil Revolution)
- Bullet Pencils (via Woodclinched)
- KUM Tip Top Sharpener and Pencil Cap (via Pencil Revolution)
- Faber- Castell Castell 9000 4H Pencil Review (via A Penchant for Paper)
- New Pencil Blog (via My Pencil Draws Worlds)
- Vintage Pedigree 600 Red/Blue Pencils (via Economy Pens)
- Esterbrook Collection (via Fountain of Pens)
- Esterbrook 2314F Nib (via Fountain Pen Quest)
- Pelikan M450 Fountain Pen Review (via Write to Me Often)
- Pilot Acroball 1.0 black (via Economy Pens)
- Kaweco Fountain Pens (via Postcrossing)
- Lamy Vista F Fountain Pen (via Clicky Post)
- Sailor Fude de Mannen (brush style nib) (via Ink Of Me Fondly)
- Franklin-Christoph Model 27 Diamondline Fountain Pen (via From The Pen Cup)
- Pilot G2 0.38mm vs. Uni-ball Signo 207 Ultra Micro (via No Pen Intended)
- Care and Maintenance of Fountain Pens (via Rhodia Drive)
- Pilot Petit Pens (via From The Pen Cup)
- Kaweco AL-Sport (via Ed Jelley)
- Morning Glory Mach3 Rollerball 0.38mm (via Pen Addict)
- Pentel Slicci Metallic Violet 0.8 (via Economy Pens)
- Lamy Turquoise Ink (via The Pencil Case blog)
- Noodlers X-Feather (via Fountain Pen Quest)
- Noodlers Baystate Blue Ink Review (via Ed Jelley)
- Diamine/Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue Ink Review (via Informal Scribble)
- Private Reserve Invincible Black (via Fountain Pen Quest)
Paper and Notebooks:
- Carta Pura Notebooks (via These Beautiful Pens)
- Rhodia R Premium Notepad (via Pen Addict)
- Monologue Notebooks (via No Pen Intended)
- Raymay DaVinci Tomoe River Paper Refills (via Pen Addict)
- New goodies for mail and paper lovers (via Paper Pastries)
- Field Nuts: The Official Field Notes Appreciation Society (via Field Notes)
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the Nock Co. product launch, a collection of pen and writing tool cases created by my pal Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict and Jeffrey Bruckwicki from Old Fourth Tailoring. Well, today’s the big day!
There are seven products in the initial Nock Co. line. Here’s a quick highlight: the Hightower which is designed to hold three pens and a pocket-sized notebook like Field Notes; the Brasstown zippered roll case which is a 6-pen roll that fits into a zip pouch; the Lookout which is a 3-pen holster case, and the Chimneytop which is a single piece zipper pouch that will hold six or seven writing tools or other daily carry items. There’s also the Maryapple and the Sassafras which are variations on the pen + notebook concept (either two slots for notebooks or slots on both the left and right for pens).
The color options for all the products are navy exterior with a gray interior, orange-on-orange (Brad’s favorite colors!) and gray with a sky blue lining. Sadly, there are no green options…yet. All the products are made from heavy-duty 1000 denier nylon exterior coated with a water-resistant DWR and lined with pack cloth.
There is also a special Kickstarter edition of the Hightower in peacock blue.
The most appealing Kickstarter option is the $75 option which will get you one of each of the initial seven products offered. That’s essentially $10.75 per case which is ridiculously cheap. Most of the pen cases sold on the market start at $15 and go up from there.
Nock Co.’s Kickstarter products are expected to start shipping in January of 2014. And of course, all the products are made in the USA.
And its here! The new Field Notes Drink Local edition arrived in my mailbox last night. The packaging with the subscriptions making the 6-pack of beer-inspired notebooks look like an actual 6-pack is absolutely stunning though I recommend assembling the carton BEFORE imbibing as it does require a little thought. LOVE!
I wanted to get it captured before disassembling the shrink wrap and effecting its MIB appearance so I have not had a chance to pet the “soft-touch” covers or closely admire the letterpress coaster which is inside the shrink wrap. This is just some visual stimulus to join the subscription service today and get your 6-pack before they sell out. They’ve gone fast in the past but I think these are going to set a new record.
I’ll do a more in-depth look later but I wanted to share some sneak peeks now while there are still sets and subscriptions available.
Subscriptions are $97 for one-year. Individual 3-packs are available in “Ales” or “Lagers” for $9.95 per set but they will not ship with the limited 6-pack packaging. Extra sets of beer coasters can be ordered as well: set of 4 for $3.95.
I’ve been unable to reach two giveaway winners to send them their goodies. If you are Maggie B. winner of the Poppin 18-month Planner or Suzanne winner of the Floral Bomb assortment giveaway. Please contact me at the Ask The Desk contact form. Tell me the email address you used to enter the drawing and your shipping address. I’m assuming my emails got lost in your junk mail filter.
If I do not hear from either winner by the last day of September, I will draw new names from the original entries and have to give the goodies to a new winner.
As a result, in the future, I will add a 30-day reply window for giveaway winners so please use your regular email address when entering the giveaways here. I promise, they are hidden in my WordPress contact form. I am the only one who sees them unless the giveaway is specifically sponsored by a second-party and I do not keep email addresses.
To enter: Leave a comment and tell me what currently on your Jet Pens wishlist to be officially entered.FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Saturday, September 21, 2013. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Sunday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). ONE entry per person, please. Please include your email address in the comment form (not in your comment) so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. Gift certificate will sent digitally via JetPens. Winner has 30 days to reply to my email. If I can’t reach you within 30 days, a new winner will be drawn from the original entries.
This week, Levenger is selling the Pelikan M205 highlighter pen set with BB (double broad) nib and bottle of fluorescent yellow ink for $87, reduced from the regular retail price of $175.
Sale is good through Sunday and the discount code is HILITE9.
This pen can be filled with other inks and would work as a lovely yellow demonstrator if a highlighter fountain pen doesn’t appeal to you. I really wanted the new demonstrator green version of the M205 but its hard to pass up this one at half price.