A funny characteristic of the Millennial students who attend Richmond is their preference for old-school communication, at least after graduation. I guess I’d expected them to invite me to some social networking site (a few have) but I get more letters than anything else.
A printed card or letter comes as a shock to faculty who still remember when this medium was the default choice for communicating between two people at great distances. For a student writer, the letter or card shows real seriousness, and a faculty member is more likely to remember the writer. This is no small thing when a graduate comes asking for a reference or letter of recommendation (usually done online, these days).
Today, as a break from grading final projects, I’m answering printed mail. That used to be a large part of the day for many people who kept up correspondence with others.
Since my stamps are SO old, I’m running out to get some one-cent ones to avoid the recipient finding a “postage due” announcement (if the post office still does that).
At times I miss letters. My handwriting is actually decent when I slow down and use my favorite pens. In the crush of answering e-mail, replying to blog-posts, and preparing for class, I do wonder what we’ve given up in the service of greater productivity.
But usually I’m too busy to think about that. If you’d like to send me a letter, just drop me an e-mail first. I’ll clear the desk and pen a reply.