Is your dominant hand left, or right? I’m a definite leftie. I am part of the 10-12% in this world that function stronger with their left hand. On the PATINS staff, Julie and Jim join me as lefties.
Some cultures consider left handed people as an outcast. The Anglo-Saxon word for left is “lyft” which means broken, weak. A mere nasty habit to overcome. This might explain why, as an elementary student, I was pulled out of my classroom of peers to go out in the hall and work on writing with my right hand with Miss O’Neil, the “special teacher”. I wasn’t comfortable writing with my right hand nor did I have good results with my right hand. I also remember being sad that I was missing out on what my friends were doing in my classroom with my teacher. Miss O’Neil told my parents that I would always need a pencil gripper to properly write. (That turned out to be incorrect)
In this right-handed world, I have learned to adapt quite effectively. Here’s a few examples:
- My coffee mug with the inspirational saying? I’m glad you can read it as I drink.
- Opening those cans with a can opener? I buy the pull tops.
- Zipping a zipper? Skilled at holding that fly/flap with my other fingers to keep clear.
- Reading a measuring cup? Mastered the metric system.
- Spiral notebook? Built a tolerance to dents from resting on the spiral or went for the loose-leaf.
- Writing over pencil/pen on my paper? Those smudges on the butt of my hand are washable.
- Cutting with scissors? Not so great UNTIL my first left-handed pair, then perfect!
- Reading a tape measure? I can read upside down and get the job done.
- Video Game Controller? Wasn’t any good at video games anyway.
- Desk in school? I was all smiles when I was introduced to a left-handed desk in college. Until then, I preferred to sit on the floor with my work on my knees or lap.
If you want some more fun facts on lefties, check out this short video. In the meantime, be mindful of lefties in your circles. If you are a teacher, try to be open to flexible seating options. Keep in mind what it is you are trying to assess and then let the student demonstrate his/her individual ability to conquer the task. If only Miss O'Neil would have checked out my penmanship as a leftie... we both might have put our time to better use.