Finally: a signature I am most proud of
One of my earliest memories of learning cursive is of the Palmer Method charts hung above the blackboard in my elementary school classroom. I never quite mastered it like the samples provided, and many years later shorthand and the qwerty keyboard led to my script’s deterioration.
I fondly remember trying to find a signature that looked impressive, had an artistic flair, and ended with an upward swoop. I practiced with a No. 2 pencil and an Eversharp, a ball point pen, an ink pen, and I finally perfected it around sixth grade with a Shaefer refillable blue cartridge pen. There is evidence of many iterations of this child’s play on piano books, sheet music, portfolios and the back of elementary school photos. In particular, the signature showing on my Czerny Etudes book appeared on several other items before being retired or discarded.
At some point, I dropped the circle that flared out of the top of the ending swoop on the character ‘e’ at the end of my first and last name: Jane Dudine. At the time, it was, in my humble opinion, something astonishing to behold. In fact, I quietly waited for someone to comment on it — but, alas, not a word of feedback from teacher, parent, friend or even a first cousin! In retrospect, that young girl felt she had many unrecognized talents and skills. So it was not odd that my signature did not get called out for the attention it deserved.
Sophistication and flair
As I became more sophisticated (about the 6th grade) the final stroke at the end of my last name looped back to provide the dot on the ‘i’ and was a parallel curved shape to the capital “J” at the beginning of my first name. Well, it didn’t last long. And I smile at the pretense when I look back on it. Someone must have commented because subsequent iterations were unadorned.
Somewhere along the line I learned that when a college degree is earned, a set of initials is appended to one’s name. I knew then, that my name would end with B.S. How wonderful to see a legitimate distinguished ending to my name. Imagine my surprise when years later I learned that unlike MD, DDS or JJD, the B.S. was not used with one’s signature! Well, then! Save the other degrees for the resume and the curriculum vitae.
A meaningful signature
Fast forward to today and a new signature style. I use it regularly now and love it when someone asks what it means. I use it when I sign in as a volunteer, when I complete a guest register, and when I share my name and contact information. Being a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is a significant and special part of my life — I waited a long time for this signature, and I am going to keep it.