In Mariposa's comment about yesterday's post, in which I linked to a 20-question free brain test, which allegedly (I truly have no idea how accurate it is) might help us determine whether we have a dominant left brain or right brain, she mentioned she's left-handed. So am I. And, for the first time in many years I wondered how being left-handed affects us.
When I was a child, from kindergarten on I knew I was different. When my teacher tried to force me to "saw wood" with my right hand, my mother came to school and told her she didn't want her to change me to become a right-hander. As I remember, I think my mom thought that perhaps she had been changed as a child, but I can't remember why.
When I was learning how to write, I realized there were no other left-handed children in my elementary school class. When the teacher demonstrated how to write on the blackboard (every single day), she would say, "Susan, it's the same for you; just use your other hand." In fact, it wasn't the same for me. But, I worked very hard to develop good penmanship.
As a left-handed person in a right-handed world, we learn to adjust, but some things are more difficult than others. As I remember, cutting with right-handed scissors was never easy (these days you can easily find left-handed ones). Writing in spiral notebooks was clumsy at first. There was a problem with school desks, but I adapted. I'm sure there's a lot more, but I guess I just adapted without thinking about it.
While I'm a good athlete, this is one of the few areas in which I play different sports with different hands. I play tennis with my left-hand, and it was always an advantage because most people I played were right-handed and they were used to playing right handers. I play golf with my right because my grandmother taught me, and I used her clubs. My father taught me how to bat a baseball and throw a ball, so I do them both as a left-hander. But I learned how to bowl (a sport I rarely do) as a right-hander because there weren't left-handed bowling balls (unless you owned your own one) when I was a kid.
In music, I was taught to play the violin (my first instrument) as a right hander, and I was so awful at it that I quit within a year. Yet, I was also taught to play the guitar right-handed and I'm fine. In a way, I figured it was an advantage to use my left hand for chords. As an adult, I chose to learn to play the ukulele as a right-hander.
Of course, it doesn't surprise me that most equipment is made for right-handed people. When we recently bought a chain-saw because I was cutting some trees in our backyard, I never thought to look online for a left-handed one, and it's a bit tricky for me. But, I don't see a problem with our power drill, or sander.
The real question is: Am I having difficulty learning how to knit because I've never been able to learn, or is it a left-handed issue? I guess I'll have to read Karen's Left-Handed Knitting Page to find out.
Tomorrow, I plan on writing more about how being left-handed affects us. But, in the meantime, you might want to check out a great site: The Left-Handed Page by Rosemary West. And, just for a teaser, I've provided a few facts.
*Between 13-30 percent of the population is left-handed.
*Earlier studies suggested that right-handers live 9 years longer than left-handers, but a 1994 study by geographer Peter Rogerson suggests it's only one year longer.
*Yes, Barack Obama is left-handed. Other famous left-handers (and I've decided to give you an eclectic list) include: Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Helen Keller, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, James Baldwin, H.G. Wells, Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Cole Porter, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Robert DeNiro, Greta Garbo, Oprah Winfrey, and so many more.
Question: Are you left-handed? How has it affected you?
P.S. The graphic is from Anything Left-Handed, a store in the United Kingdom.