Dwelling on Left Handedness

Today is International Left-Handers Day! I’m left handed, so I get to celebrate. So I posted a few things, tweeted a bit, and did a couple of Instagrams. No biggie. Except that I offended a person when I didn’t intend to, and am still a bit clueless about it.

So, what do you call it when someone is offended by something you said, and you had no intention of being offensive? Misunderstood. Some people seem to take joy out of offending people. I don’t. It bothers me when I offend someone. I just want everyone to get along and be happy. So I’ve been thinking about it.

When I started college at the big university and had classes in the auditoriums, there were a FEW left handed desks in the back. There was an unstated race to get to one of those desks if you were left handed. So I got to know some other lefties pretty quickly. It wasn’t very long before one pointed out that I held my pencil and wrote differently. They wanted to know how I learned to do that. See, I write like a right hander and don’t write upside down like other left handers. (This was in the 1970s.) So I thought back to my early days.

When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher Mrs. Phillips, was wonderful. I loved school. When we were learning to write our letters, she would write the letter on the board, and then tell us to take our paper and turn it to the left. Then she would say, Becky, you turn your paper to the right. All year long, she singled me out every time we were learning to write words. By then, the habit was formed. But most kids didn’t have Mrs. Phillips and the lefties were forced to write their letters and words on paper that was turned to the left. (Try it righties: turn your paper to the right and try to write words with your right hand. You can only do it by curving your wrist.)

So today I posted two photos: one with how other left handers write and one with how I write. I did this as a tribute to my Kindergarten teacher, and her wisdom in knowing how to teach left handers. Here are the photos:

IMG_2769“How most left handers write”

“How this Leftie writes”

So I offended someone by implying most lefties write upside down. That would really be a reflection on Early Ed teachers. But in the 1970s, I was very unusual.

So, is it possible that today’s youngsters are taught properly how to write left handed? Maybe my comment was like rubbing salt in a wound for too many lefties. Maybe it is a sign of shame for some? Maybe they are just jealous of my Kindergarten teacher?

I don’t know. I’m clueless, as I said.