The Girl With Second Grade Boy Handwriting

Theresa Lau

Usually when you see handwriting that looks like chicken scratch or that someone had a seizure while writing, you would automatically think this paper belonged to a boy. Wrong. It’s most likely mine.

Every time someone sees my handwriting for the first time I swear they go into a mild form of shock and then ask, “Are you serious? This is your handwriting?”

If you haven’t experienced it, just ask someone who has, they will tell you I am not exaggerating. I’ve been referred to as “the girl with 2nd grade boy handwriting” by one too many people.

I wasn’t always doomed to gender-confused handwriting; there was a time when I had a chance to change my fate. When I was around 6 my parents were concerned about my “problem,” but teachers reassured them. “By the time she’s in high school everything will be done on computers; she will never have to write by hand, no need to improve,” they said.

Yeah right. Thanks.

Now, teachers get the unpleasant task of trying to decipher my homework and are shocked when they see at the top of the page: Theresa Lau. Or maybe it says Theresa. I’m sure they can’t quite make out the line I place in between the “e” and “a” (it’s a “s” for future reference).

I can only imagine the time it takes for teachers to grade anything I give them that is handwritten. My one page essay on the pros and cons of the Civil War must have been something like a root canal to Ms. Kern. My apologies.

It’s not just others; I can barely make out the nonsense I scribble in an attempt to take notes in class. Give me a break, teachers go fast, yet every girl (and boy) in my classes seems to get down the information without being left with a foreign language.

So, if we are in class together and you miss a day, don’t ask to borrow my notes because I’ll say no. Please do not be offended, it’s really nothing personal. I’m merely avoiding the awkward conversation that will follow as you ask what every other word is supposed to be.

I guess it’s not all bad. Try to cheat off me. I dare you. You will have a “c” where you need an “a”, an “e” instead of a “b”. And I will laugh because you called me “the girl with the 2nd grade boy handwriting.”