That was to show you how tall to make your m's and n's and h bodies. I remember even before that being made to trace the letters out with my fingers on felt before I could write with a pencil. My father had ball points and shiny pens that came from the military that I loved to draw with but I had pencils that were big and thick and I felt so awkward and clunky with them. I could draw somewhat better than I could write, and I liked to draw and tell stories.
My mother, who keeps everything, has a tape of me dictating a terrible story to my kindergarden teacher, about monsters who came and ate up my grandparents. The monsters came down a fireplace (which neither we nor my grandparents ever had) and ate them up. I sincerely hope that no one ever told them about that.
After that there were classes in how to write in cursive, and classes in how to read and classes in how to go through a maze with your pencil and not touch the sides. I had a lot of classes. I even remember one class with Mrs. Babcock who was young and pretty and blond, where we wrote on the blackboard after she had had someone put lines on it with airplane glue. (and the glue had had time to dry of course.)
I did learn to write by hand and it was a slow and laborious process. I never really learned how to write quickly though, and so when I discovered the keyboard, I fell in love. Here was a way to write that meant that I could keep up with the way that I think.
Now, of course, I've had the keyboard for a long time. And I'm beginning to appreciate the way that pens fit in my hand. The way that writing by hand makes me slow down, and choose my words with care. I don't think I'll ever stop writing with a keyboard. There are just too many times when I want to write quickly before an idea goes away. Now though..I want to go back and learn to write by hand. I want to develop decent handwriting, and maybe learn to write--if not beautifully at least clearly. I guess everything comes full circle in the end.