Sunday, August 12, 2018

Celebrating "International Left-Handers Day"

Since roughly 90% of the world's population is right handed, It is interesting to me, how many left-handed friends an family I have. (but maybe not so surprising)

I was commenting back and forth with a blogging friend, whose way of looking at things seemed so much like mine, I happened to ask, "Are you sure you're not left handed?" Her response was, "Yes, I am".

Last summer I was visiting my Son's family in Colorado, and when it came to dinner time, we gathered around the table and as usual, I looked for the left-handed corner. Surprise ... it just so happened that everyone in the room was left-handed.

Three of my six children are left-handed, and when we played games, we would team up with lefties against righties ... and soon the righties started calling out "No fair!" I think we did have an advantage because we were more apt to think alike when it came to games.

I never heard from my own kids that they faced the challenges in school that I did. In elementary school, we used ink pens  for writing, dipped into an ink well. I tried to avoid the inky hand by turning the paper clockwise and writing from top to bottom and right to left ... much like Japanese.
Of course, the teacher would walk around the room, and make me turn my paper the "right" way, messing everything up.

When we began cursive writing, the teacher stood at the blackboard and demonstrated by writing from in front, to off to the side. Great, I could do that too but I moved from the front to the left and everything came out in mirror writing.  It was much easier and faster and I didn't drag my hand through the ink. In fact, in college, I took all my notes that way as it was faster and easier to keep up. Sometimes my classmates would ask, "Were you in class today? did you take notes? Can I borrow them?" When they couldn't read them, I just said to hold them up in the mirror.

From Junior high, the desks were all right-handed. I had to sit sideways to take notes and when we had tests, the teacher thought I was copying the person in the next row.

Because you meet big numbers by adding smaller ones, starting with the ones column, then the tens then the hundreds ... I learned to write numbers backwards. If the teacher read off the problems, I had to wait for the whole number before I could write it down. By then the teacher was on the next problem. From those days, I have never been able to do things that involve numbers. I tried to take HS math. every Friday we took a test and every Monday the teacher re-seated the class in according to the test scores. As you might guess, I was always in the last seat ... unless there was a student that had been absent. When I went to College, I was required, in addition to the regular hours I had to take, to take extra classes to make up for what I needed to get into college in the first place. Somehow I managed all but the math. If I couldn't pass HS math, how was I going to take college math???

Well, I was working summers at a girl's camp and one of the staff was a HS math teacher. He brought me a geometry book and all summer I did every-other problem in the book. At the end of the summer, I went into his school and took the years worth of tests. He passed me with a "B" and said it would have been an "A" because I got all the answers right, except that I had taken the long way around to get those answers. BUT, while I was doing all that homework, sitting at the diningroom table, my father looked over my shoulder and said, "Why are you writing your numbers that way?" What way? What do you mean? He said I was writing them from right to left ... well, what was wrong with that? Well, he tells me that numbers should be written left to right! Here I am going into my senior year of college and no one had ever noticed!

Yes, I have never been able to deal with numbers ... counting above 20 I start to get screwed up. I have to count over and over again until I get the same answer more than once ...
Now I have to admit, THE LOST HAS BEEN FOUND because it was never lost to begin with!
Yes, all the blocks are lined up better than I am. Good advice to just carry on carrying on, and they will show up.

So, I return to my sewing. Thunder is crashing all around outside and I am waiting for the delivery of some registered mail that I missed being out last week. I do not know if this thunder will bring rain, but I'm not going out anyway. The camera will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thanks for kind words from my left-handed friends and some very understanding righties too.


  1. You might have taken the 'wrong way round', but you turned out more than all right!
    I was given a pre-school kids' teacher's guide where they said: It is not the result, but the way you do something the is important.
    Another course book said: Each individual child find his/her own method to reach the required result.
    Which advice should the teacher follow when teaching small children?

  2. I never realized how difficult some things could be for left handers. One sister next to me in age is left handed, but I never remember her saying anything about it being a problem. Maybe by then, the teachers were more trained in teaching kids that were left handed, I will have to ask her. Raining here, getting a bit tired of it, I think we have had enough.


  3. Oh my goodness....I am so sorry you had so much trouble in school. A teacher that sits people in class according to how they scored on a test, should not have been teaching. If only she could see what a talented, smart and giving person you became WITHOUT any help from her.

  4. I watched the veterinarian write today. She is a rightie, but, she held her pen the way many of my leftie friends hold theirs. I didn't mention it, since it really doesn't matter, and her writing was nice and neat. The end result is what matters, not how you get there.

  5. my grandson is left handed and from what he has told me (his school at least) the teachers seem to try and find "alternative" ways to help him understand what to do .. he is FAR better at maths than me .. and I am right-handed x lol x

  6. OH! Also our Prince William is left handed and he seems to be doing OK lolx

  7. I can relate so well to all your trials while growing up - the school system was not set to care about differences in our school days - it was much different when my son - left handed also - was in school. They even had side desks for left handed students. I am with you on the numbers - and counting drives me constantly batty. But the funny thing is that I was a bookkeeper for 18 years and owned my own company. I do have to say - the computer certainly made a difference in my performance. I can add any amount of large numbers in my head - but don't ask me to multiply in my head. It is easier to add 28 up to 25 times in my head than to multiply. These days I only use math mostly for my monthly budgets so I'm more stress free.

    I'm back to blogging now, after a month and a half off - hope to catch up on my favorites. Happy week ahead my friend.

  8. Perfect inspiration :) and what attention to detail! I admire and congratulate.