The Pen is Mighty

Writing is a powerful thing.  And, so is reading.  To my surprise and delight, this is what I received in the mail recently:

imageYes, it is a postcard from author Kate DiCamillo.  It is even signed, “Your Friend”.  I sent her my blog post on ‘Really Understanding Children’, because Beverly, the character in her book Raymie Nightingale,  is just like my Beverly at summer camp.  Well, it was really more than that; I truly understood both children.  I needed Kate DiCamillo to know that.  I think she does, as she wrote this on the bottom of the postcard:

imageThe words read, “P.S.  Thank you for sending on your wonderful blog about Beverly and Beverly.”

The pen most definitely is mighty.  It holds more power than typing the keys on a keyboard.  Handwriting seems to hold real feelings.  I remember the curves of the letters in my grandmother’s writing.  When I go back and read them again, decades later, the same wave of “I know” comes through her written word.  My father rarely wrote, but when he did his message had heart.

My mother always said, “Jennie, send a note, and make sure you use black ink.”  I still do.  Somehow, I know when I write that letter or note, by hand, it will convey so much more to the reader.  I am ready to write a letter to Colin’s parents; he did a quick video for Milly the quilter, practicing sewing.  Milly taught him how to sew last year when she visited my classroom.  Colin has also made Milly a video singing “You are My Sunshine”, and Jingle Bell Rock” (his favorite song).

Why am I writing to Colin’s parents?  I showed the video to Milly at her nursing home, and I saw Milly’s face as she watched.  Oh, my!  She was overcome and smiling ear-to-ear.  Not only did she watch it again, she had me show the nurses both Colin videos.  Colin’s parents need to know what a tremendous thing he has done for Milly.  So, I will write, handwritten, and with black ink.

Kate DiCamillo did, too.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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33 Responses to The Pen is Mighty

  1. What a lovely note! I also think handwritten notes show personal care and connection. 🙂

  2. That’s so lovely, Jennie! 🙂 I’m still a fan of handwritten notes and ask my friends everytime they’re abroad to send me a real postcard please 😉

  3. Norah says:

    Ah, Jennie. What great advice. It is wonderful to receive a handwritten note in black ink. Colin’s parents will be delighted to receive the note from you – one to be treasured, I’m sure.

  4. My mother wrote with a Parker fountain pen. Her favorite ink was called, I think, peacock blue. Her m’s and n’s looked upside down. When she signed her notes “Mum” or “Mummie” it looked like “Wuw” or “Wuwwie.” My handwriting is just as bad, but different, and I won’t even go into how many ink colors I have. (P.S. Love the story of Colin, Milly, and the video.)

  5. swamiyesudas says:

    My Dear Jennie, after my exams, my Professors used to tell me Not to write, as they could not read my hand writing! That is How good I am at physical writing.

    The computer has become a boon for me; Very much so because I can keep on correcting my mistakes and give something presentable, and above all, Legibility.

    Not that I do not love written notes. I have just a very few, but the thing is, I don’t even know where I have buried them. Nowadays, when I get some encouraging words, etc, I make a Screen out of it, and it decorates my desktop!

    …Kudos on being a Great Teacher. I Appreciate that Very much in You. May the Good Lord give You All the Strength that You need to Keep Up Your Good work.

    Love and Regards. 🙂

  6. Nicky M says:

    Lovely post. Handwritten notes are so intimate don’t you think? I mean, you give the person your complete attention when you write to them, you simply cannot multitask here – not something that happens nowadays 🙂

    • jlfatgcs says:

      Thank you, Nicky. Yes, you are so right. This is a lovely way of communicating because it does so much more than just say words. It is dying, unfortunately. I will always be a champion trying to tell people how much it really does.

  7. Lynn Kessler says:

    She really is just the best!

  8. renedith says:

    Beautiful! I have come to believe, that the consciousness of the person is transmitted to the written word. I very much agree with you, The power of handwriting outweighs the keyboard any day. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  9. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Still Another Writer's Blog.

  10. You’re a very sweet soul. I’m sure this won’t be the last letter memorializing the kindness you show others.

  11. How fun to get a postcard from Kate! I’m sure she was pleased to read about your Beverly being so much like the character she created. 🙂

  12. Deb says:

    Hand written notes are the best! When I was younger I always dreamt of getting a postcard. I never did get one-and I will just get myself one now that I can. This was thoughtful and beautiful. Keep on writing.

  13. That is so true and thanks for sharing in the way you share. With such gentleness and compassion. I agree. I keep lots of cards on hand and send them to those who can no longer communicate well by phone or computer. i like to get handwritten cards as well but they are rare these days.

  14. Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
    Ah, pens…

    Today’s re-blog shows what can happen when you use one 🙂

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