Sunday, June 12, 2016

Postcrossing, penmanship and dragons from Russia

There has been much lament in recent years about the state of penmanship among today's youth.1 Even though it's probably one of those complaints that surfaces with each new generation ("When I was a kid..."), there's probably some validity to the idea that young people of the 2010s practice and employ handwriting much less than past generations. And that would tend to mean they aren't as skilled at it.

But there's good news out of Russia! I recently received Postcrossing cards from a couple of young Russians whose penmanship is quite good — which is especially impressive, given that English is not their first language.

First up is this note written by Maria, who lives just outside Moscow and loves Harry Potter and medieval history...

And then there's this postcard note from Julia, who lives in Kostomuksha.2

Dragons named Raskolnikov and Toothless! That sure beats having cats named Huggles, Mr. Bill and Mystery and a dog named Coby. I told Julia that I do not have dragon, but that I have some excellent dragon fairy tales that I'm going to send to her. Specifically, I'm thinking of the good-hearted Greek tale "The Dragon of the Well."

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Finally, because I couldn't think of anywhere else to post it, here's a peaceful-looking postcard featuring the 17th century St. Nicholas' Church in Suzdal, Russia.

1. I'm not really one to talk. My signature/autograph on non-essential items such as receipts and office paperwork has devolved to this in recent years...

2. Julia describes Kostomuksha as follows on her Postcrossing biography page: "It is situated near a beautiful deep lake and surrounded with taiga. Winters here are really 'russian': snowy, windy and severe."

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