Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Handwriting? Wuzzat?

I forgot to mention the one moment of high comedy yesterday. In the afternoon we were required to prove our identities by providing photo ID, fingerprinting ourselves, and producing a short handwriting sample.

This last sparked widespread confusion among the test takers. The proctors (who, like those at HLS exams, are mostly old folks) found this amusing, if frustrating. First the announcer read the directions as provided. When it became clear that some people weren't getting it, he got on the mike again to say we should "hand write, not print" the text of the sample.

Still, the natives were restless. He came back and rambled that perhaps we were so accustomed to using computers that we didn't know how to hand write anymore. The clue, he said, was to do it like we signed our names. Finally, after this last hint went over some heads, he announced that we should write it however and "leave it up to the powers that be to figure out if you are who you are."

A lot of confusion might have been averted had the word "cursive" been used. But maybe not.
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