Left Hander in a Right Handed World

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Left Hander in a Right Handed World

I’m left-handed.
I began my elementary education in a school designed for right-handed students. My desk had an armrest on the right side. The lady with the hairnet in the cafeteria always placed our eating utensils on the right side of our tray, along with our carton of milk.
It drove me nuts.
The biggest frustration came in how I was taught to write. Your paper is supposed to be slanted in a parallel angle to your writing arm. That means I should have slanted my paper with the top turned toward the right corner of my desk, the same direction that my left arm lays. That wasn’t allowed. I had to slant my paper with the top toward the left corner of the desk, like all the right-handers did. This caused real problems. Instead of my writing arm setting the same direction as the paper, my arm came in from the left, forming an upside-down V with the paper. This required me to have to crook my wrist and technically write upward on the paper instead of side-to-side.
For years I used the emotional stress from all of this harsh treatment from my first- and second-grade teachers as an explanation for the parade of poor conduct grades that followed me through most of my schooling. Turns out, I was just easily distracted and talked too much. When I was in the seventh grade, my father went to a sales convention and found a device to put on your pencil or pen that wouldn’t allow you to crook your wrist as you write. If you did, the device forced the tip of your writing instrument off of the paper. The person who sold him the device also mentioned one other thing: “Make sure your son slants his paper in the same direction of his left arm.”
The effect was instant and dramatic.
My handwriting immediately improved. The speed at which I could take notes also stepped up. As it turned out, I had a bit of gift in drawing too.
Unfortunately, my conduct grades stayed the same…
This story was excerpt from Dr. Kimmel’s book, Discovering Your Child’s Heart, which is part of the Kids Flag Page package.

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