Posted by Lotg on July 03, 2004
In Reply to: Pen Pals posted by ESC on July 02, 2004
: : Does anyone have penpals any more? Or has email made it totally and completely a thing of the past. When I was a kid I had 3 penpals. One in New Guinea, one in Japan and one in the U.S. We were avid correspondents, and while I do love the instant gratification of email, there was always something exciting about looking forward to receiving a letter from overseas, and to checking out what kind of fantastic stamp would be on the envelope. Thus creating a sideline - stamp collection. Also, sometimes, there'd be little presents that came in the mail too. Corny little things supposedly indigenous to their countries (although they were probably just tourist tokens, but when you're a kid, they're exciting).
: : I also think, and now I'm getting all gooey I know, but there's also something really nice and personal about receiving a hand written letter. Plus - in those days, it was on that special really thin, crinkly airmail paper, so somehow that made it even more special - don't ask me why.
: : Do any kids experience that feeling these days, or am I just being a complete and total old fogey???
: : Plus, fortunately for me, I'm an excellent typist. But I write so little, that I've become hopeless at actually 'writing'. My handwriting has become lazy and sloppy, and I get exhausted and my hand gets tired if I write more than a few lines. And I find that my 11 year-old seems to somewhat inadequate when it comes to handwriting. Surely this is criminal somehow???
: I googled "penpals" and found references to epals and efriends. My children didn't have penpals. (My daughter has been writing to the president and her congressmen since she was old enough to address and stamp an envelope.) But they had epals. My son's handwriting is hard to decipher, just like his father's. So typing is a good thing. I got Mavis Beacon Teaching Typing for them and they had to learn before we got AOL. They learned in a week!
Ah the advantage of youth. How quickly we learnt stuff then. And there's no denying, these days I think typing is an absolute essential. I learnt it by accident. It wasn't part of my curriculum. But our music teacher was killed in a car accident and they didn't know what to do with our music class, so they chucked us into typing. First class in Victoria (Aust) where boys learnt typing. Probably the most useful thing I learned.
But I was lamenting the loss of writing skills too, but that's probably cos I'm being very middle-aged and I'm reminiscing.