Oddly enough, I was just thinking through a work problem, and I think I realized why my handwriting is so terrible.
The reason this hit me was that I was writing at normal speed, and my arm was getting tired from keeping up. See, I also tend to write very quickly. I never really thought about it, but this time I remembered Psycho Freak Boss mentioning that he had really bad handwriting as a child, and as a result his teachers made him write with an ink pen. Not a ball-point, but an actual, old-fashioned ink pen. The reason for this was that one can't write too quickly with an ink pen. The ink doesn't flow out fast enough, so what appears on the page is an erratic mix of strokes from where the ink flowed and didn't.
This set me to thinking: why do I write so quickly? It's not something I ever really considered. I generally try to do everything quickly, it's just how I do things.
Then it hit me: I write quickly because when I was taking notes off of the board in school, I was always the slowest kid. I couldn't see the board well enough to make out what was written there without a lot of effort, so I was very slow copying things off the board. I almost never was able to get things down before the teacher was erasing things in order to make room for more stuff up on the board.)
Why I was so slow was because, well, I couldn't see. I know I needed glasses for years before I got them. I remember even down into third or fourth grade being scolded for not copying notes down fast enough. I would complain that I couldn't see the board. The teachers told me to move so that I could. They thought I was being snide or silly when I would walk right up to the board and sit on the ground only a few feet away. I wasn't. I honestly could not see that far. They never figured out that the problem was that I was near-sighted.
(Actually, I'm not just near-sighted; I'm also far-sighted, and I have an astigmatism in each eye. Getting contacts that would fix everything would be ridiculously expensive. But that's neither here nor there.)
Just for reference, I didn't end up getting glasses until I was in eighth grade. And it wasn't because some teacher noticed that I couldn't read things unless I was right up in front. It was because I had to go to the optomitrist to get a metal splinter removed. But that's a story for another time.
Damn. The radio just started playing "Sand In My Shoes". I think I need to go home and cry now. I want to go on vacation so badly I can't even describe it. I miss Wales. *sniff*