Education is about being better your competition, not about being equal to them.

A message to current and prospective Vohra Academy Students:

Many government school boards have argued that cursive is not necessary for the average American. The Federal Department of Education agrees, and has removed cursive from its Common Core “Standards.”

In an era in which we type on computers far more often than we write, cursive seems no more relevant to the needs of the average American than Japanese calligraphy does.

It may surprise you that I agree with them. The average American has no real use for cursive.

The average American also does not need to know the difference between a Fossil and a Patek Philippe watch, or between a derivative and an integral.

The average American does not need to sign his books with a stylish signature, since the average American will never write a book.

The average American does not need to learn cursive.

You do.

In a few years, when you are signing checks, or books, or basketballs, I don’t want you to have to print your name like a village idiot, or sign with an “X” like a homeless drunk. I want your signature and your handwriting to be impressive, individualistic, and iconic.

A lot of what you do to convey cultural superiority is not necessary for brute survival. Learning to tie a necktie, select jewelry, or spell may not be necessary for some low level job. But it is necessary to show elegance, excellence, and superiority.

Given the existence of text-to-speech software, you don’t actually need to be able to read anymore. You can have a computer read to you. But illiteracy would make you less excellent. We don’t live in a hunter-gatherer society. And yet, many of you choose to develop cardiovascular and muscular strength that would make a neanderthal jealous. That’s a way to develop and show physical excellence.

I went to an all boys’ school and, while there, I got the idea that sloppy handwriting was “masculine”. I continued believing that until I was…35. There are several copies of The Equation for Excellence signed with penmanship that is anything but excellent.

Fortunately, I eventually realized that excellence was far more masculine than incompetence. It took months of hard work to improve my handwriting, but I’m proud that I overcame my foolish views.

The Declaration of Independence was written in English Roundhand calligraphy. The elegance of the writing conveyed the seriousness of the intent. When the Founding “Fathers” (some of whom were teenagers) signed the Declaration of Independence, they were overthrowing their government in stylish, iconic script. I hope that if you guys ever overthrow the government that brings us Common Core and the like, you’ll do the same.