The 25 Greatest Makers in Media who Don’t Know Cursive

I’ll tell you out front that this isn’t a list post. Or it’s not just a list post.

My wife, as I occasionally mention, is an elementary school teacher, and I’ve absorbed enough about education over the last decade that I think I could pass a credentialing exam on the first try. We also get plenty of emails and periodicals in the field, and I see a lot about what the issues are at the local, state, and national level.

This morning, the NEA newsletter email came into our family account, and one of the articles featured asks “Does Cursive Need to be Taught in the Digital Age?” I thought about my opinion on the matter, and then threw the question out to Twitter, and the responses were vociferous and the opinions strongly-held. The techie sorts all think it’s a relic of the last century that we don’t need anymore in a digital age. The romantics feel it’s vital to know as a cultural touchstone and basis for elegance in communication. And every possible shade between those viewpoints were voiced. It struck me as a very polarizing issue, and has me curious as to how the answer breaks down for makers. So, here’s a quick poll:

I’m interested to see the results. Personally, I’m so over cursive. Mine always looked terrible, and after I took a drafting class, I relied on block printing whenever I need to hand write something. But since I can type 60+ words a minute, digital is the most efficient way for me to transfer my thoughts. But I understand we’re in a transitional period. Most of us still learned cursive in school, and it feels like part of what education is all about, a core competency. Next week we’re going to feature a lot of back-to-school stories, so this seems like a great time to tackle this issue. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, and let’s talk this out.

Now, for the list.

As part of my Twitterings each day, I love to ask folks fun maker-related questions. Thursday morning I asked folks to nominate their favorite makers in movies, TV, and books, and while the classics (MacGyver, the A-Team) were there, some great other suggestions came up as well. Here, in no particular order, are some great (mostly fictional) makers:

  • MacGyver
  • The A-Team
  • Jules Verne
  • Mythbusters
  • Donatello (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Beekman (Beekman’s World)
  • Barney Collier (Mission Impossible)
  • Wallace and Gromit
  • Dr. Emmett Brown (Back to the Future)
  • David Lightman (Wargames)
  • Dr. Hans Zarkov (Flash Gordon)
  • Alton Brown
  • Dr. Bonnie Barstow (Knight Rider)
  • Ash (Evil Dead)
  • Q (James Bond movies)
  • Dexter (Dexter’s Laboratory)
  • Norm Abram (This Old House)
  • Tony Stark (Iron Man)
  • Hari Seldon (The Foundation Trilogy)
  • Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard)
  • Red Green (The Red Green Show)
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Caractacus Potts (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • E.T.

Who are your favorites who didn’t make it on the list? Please drop them in the comments!

And as a teaser, next week I have a story coming up about a guy who quit his job two years ago to move to the desert and start building his dream: a pedal-powered airplane that ordinary folks can afford and use. He’s almost done with the project, and we’re really excited to be able to talk about it.

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Ken is the Grand Nagus of He's a husband and father from the SF Bay Area, and has written three books filled with projects for geeky parents and kids to share.

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