Discussion:
THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (The Doctor Handwriting Song) - final version
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Kate Gladstone
2007-12-01 18:32:15 UTC
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title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
tune: THE DAY IT FELL APART by Leslie Fish

At a major city hospital, where accidents occurred
Quite often when the scribbling medics fouled the written word,
The trustees said, "No problem: we will just computerize" --
They bought the latest system: you could hear the grateful sighs.
Then, at eight o'clock one morning, the hurricane roared in --
Took out our generator -- you could hear the howls begin
When we realized the system that we kept our records on
Couldn't run without the network ... without power, that was gone.
CHORUS:
Now can you write a "scrip"? And can they read it then?
We all found out the answer when we had to work by pen.

We could operate by flashlight: for that we had the skills,
But not for writing clearly when prescribing shots or pills --
Looking hard for a solution, an old Remington we found:
Needing something called a "ribbon" ... and no ribbons were around!
Then some orderlies and nurses said they did calligraphy,
Could they follow the physicians and keep records legibly?
We drew up a duty roster: sev'ral medics to one scribe ...
Say "Hello" to the Dark Ages! .... but at least we could prescribe.
CHORUS:

But the scribes were overburdened, so they said they'd strike until
We had them teach the doctors how to write and not to kill.
When we gave them that new duty, they cheered and danced in joy --
("I'm a doctor, not a penman!" groaned our surgery chief, McCoy) --
Yet McCoy and all the others who were working through the crunch
Eventually came to classes, and some even skipped their lunch.
We did triage on their penmanship: ranked minor, major, grave --
Our scribes reserved transcription for the few they couldn't save.
CHORUS:

A patient who sold ballpoints donated his supply --
The quality was lousy, but a few more didn't die.
Soon many of our medics no longer scratched like hens ...
And the stationery stores were having runs on fountain pens.
By the time we got our power, twenty thousand "scrips" we'd penned:
The first few looked atrocious, but we'd bettered by the end:
Saving patients' lives and saving us from big malpractice claims,
And -- miracle of miracles -- you could even read our names!
CHORUS:

We do not need our pens now, but we've not set them aside,
Because without our scribal skills, so many might have died.
And we know a new disaster could reach us any day ...
So, though we love computers, we won't put our pens away.
The accreditation agency came back the following year,
They'd heard of our disaster, wondered what they would find here:
Their eyebrows raised, their eyes popped out, to see the startling
sight:
A building full of doctors, almost all of whom could write.
FINAL CHORUS:
Yes, we can write a "scrip" -- and you can read it then:
We all found out the answer when we had to work by pen,
Found that sometimes you've got to write well by pen!
t***@yahoo.com
2007-12-01 23:47:41 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
Very good!

Now, if they would only learn to speak! My sister is a medical
transcriptionist/editor/reviewer, and what she has to listen to...

m a m
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 03:08:32 UTC
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Post by t***@yahoo.com
Post by Kate Gladstone
title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
Very good!
Now, if they would only learn to speak! My sister is a medical
transcriptionist/editor/reviewer, and what she has to listen to...
In fact, Mark and all, some of the hospitals that hire me (and my few
rare colleagues) do so precisely *because* of speech-transcription
problems: one can more easily learn to write legibly than one can
learn to speak in a "guaranteed-intelligible" manner if one does not
already do so. (As your sister doubtless knows, Mark, many of the MDs
speak English as a second language -- heavily influenced by their
native tongue -- and whose teachers, like *their* teachers in turn,
spoke it similarly. At one hospital, for instance, I met an MD
educated in India who had learned his English from teachers who
regarded "vision" and "wishing" as homophones both pronounced "wishun"
-- his instructors similarly conflated the many other sounds not
distinguished in the language of his part of India, and after years of
living in the USA he still found it quite hard to believe that anyone
really does consider /v/ and /w/ different enough to make a
difference.

Kate Gladstone - http://www.learn.to/handwrite
Lee Gold
2007-12-02 15:50:05 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
Post by t***@yahoo.com
Post by Kate Gladstone
title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
Very good!
Now, if they would only learn to speak! My sister is a medical
transcriptionist/editor/reviewer, and what she has to listen to...
In fact, Mark and all, some of the hospitals that hire me (and my few
rare colleagues) do so precisely *because* of speech-transcription
problems: one can more easily learn to write legibly than one can
learn to speak in a "guaranteed-intelligible" manner if one does not
already do so. (As your sister doubtless knows, Mark, many of the MDs
speak English as a second language -- heavily influenced by their
native tongue -- and whose teachers, like *their* teachers in turn,
spoke it similarly. At one hospital, for instance, I met an MD
educated in India who had learned his English from teachers who
regarded "vision" and "wishing" as homophones both pronounced "wishun"
-- his instructors similarly conflated the many other sounds not
distinguished in the language of his part of India, and after years of
living in the USA he still found it quite hard to believe that anyone
really does consider /v/ and /w/ different enough to make a
difference.
I've encountered a third or fourth generation American (from the
Twin Cities area, I think) who didn't hear the difference between
the voiced and unvoiced /th/ of "ether" and "either."

--Lee
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 16:23:51 UTC
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Post by Lee Gold
I've encountered a third or fourth generation American (from the
Twin Cities area, I think) who didn't hear the difference between
the voiced and unvoiced /th/ of "ether" and "either."
--Lee
And, doubtless, English-speakers 400 or 500 years ago felt annoyed
when the younger generation stopped hearing/pronouncing the (then)
difference between /knit/ and /nit/.
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-03 02:18:58 UTC
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I've re-recorded and re-posted this song (someone on FilkArchive noted
a bug in the previously posted version) ... to replace the previous
screwed-up version, go ye unto FilkArchive and download!
Kip Williams
2007-12-02 14:55:49 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
insta:

A long, long, time ago
I can still remember when
Our writing just could not be read
And I wished that somebody would,
Help me make my writing good
And maybe folks could tell my "A" from "Zed."

Well, Gladstone's lessons made it better
As we worked to improve each letter --
Ovals, jots and tittles;
Neat junctions in the middles.
We made it better, night by night,
Those letters that were such a blight,
Until our words were a delight
The day we learned to write.

So hi, hi, Mister Pharmacist Guy
My prescription, like my diction,
Is so neat I could cry.
Each word, each stroke, is now a treat for the eye
And our patients are less likely to die!

Kip W
ttto: American Pie
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 16:22:10 UTC
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Wonderful, Kip!

Since I'll soon update my web-page, can I add to it the lyrics to the
poem ... and a link to your page? (If so, please send me a link to
your page.)

Kate Gladstone -- http://www.learn.to/handwrite
Kip Williams
2007-12-02 16:58:19 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
Wonderful, Kip!
Since I'll soon update my web-page, can I add to it the lyrics to the
poem ... and a link to your page? (If so, please send me a link to
your page.)
Sure, I'll be happy to have it there. Which page, do you think? My LJ,
my personal page, which is seldom updated, or my flickr page?

Kip W
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 18:44:59 UTC
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Post by Kip Williams
Post by Kate Gladstone
Since I'll soon update my web-page, can I add to it the lyrics to the
poem ... and a link to your page? (If so, please send me a link to
your page.)
Sure, I'll be happy to have it there. Which page, do you think? My LJ,
my personal page, which is seldom updated, or my flickr page?
Well, which would you prefer? One that you designate, two that you
designate, or all three?


Kate Gladstone - http://www.learn.to/handwrite
Post by Kip Williams
Kip W
Kip Williams
2007-12-02 20:13:51 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
Well, which would you prefer? One that you designate, two that you
designate, or all three?
LJ, I think. It has a link to ZN, and occasionally refers to flickr (I
wish the profile page offered opportunity to link to it, but I haven't
seen one).

Kip W
kip-w on LJ
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 20:46:53 UTC
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Post by Kip Williams
Post by Kate Gladstone
Well, which would you prefer? One that you designate, two that you
designate, or all three?
LJ, I think. It has a link to ZN, and occasionally refers to flickr (I
wish the profile page offered opportunity to link to it, but I haven't
seen one).
Thanks -- can you e-mail me a link to your LJ page? (Yes, I know I have
it somewhere ... ) For that matter, can you (and anyone else who heard
DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE) please go to the FilkArchive page and re-
download it, because I had to re-post it with a different MP3 owing to
some problems with the old one? And, in re-posting, I lost on
FilkArchive ALL the numerous downloads and comments it had so far
earned ... WAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!
Post by Kip Williams
:-C
Kate Gladstone -- http://www.learn.to/handwrite
Kate Gladstone
2007-12-02 18:46:12 UTC
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Post by Kip Williams
Post by Kate Gladstone
Since I'll soon update my web-page, can I add to it the lyrics to the
poem ... and a link to your page? (If so, please send me a link to
your page.)
Sure, I'll be happy to have it there. Which page, do you think? My LJ,
my personal page, which is seldom updated, or my flickr page?
Well, which would you prefer? One that you designate, two that you
designate, or all three?


Kate Gladstone - http://www.learn.to/handwrite
Post by Kip Williams
Kip W
Kate Gladstone
2017-04-05 04:47:14 UTC
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Kip Williams — I never did get around to putting your song on my page (now at HandwritingThatWorks.com ) ... if you put it on any page of yours that you choose, please send me the link.

This has been on my mind because, some days ago, I learned that this week's CHICAGO MED will have the hospitals computers taken down by a hacker, and I'm curious to see whether the doctors (like the ones in my song) will have to learn to bloody-well-write by hand.
Post by Kate Gladstone
title: THE DAY WE LEARNED TO WRITE (title suggested by Leslie Fish)
insta:

A long, long, time ago
I can still remember when
Our writing just could not be read
And I wished that somebody would,
Help me make my writing good
And maybe folks could tell my "A" from "Zed."

Well, Gladstone's lessons made it better
As we worked to improve each letter --
Ovals, jots and tittles;
Neat junctions in the middles.
We made it better, night by night,
Those letters that were such a blight,
Until our words were a delight
The day we learned to write.

So hi, hi, Mister Pharmacist Guy
My prescription, like my diction,
Is so neat I could cry.
Each word, each stroke, is now a treat for the eye
And our patients are less likely to die!

Kip W
ttto: American Pie

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