Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2007

Left is all right

March 8, 2007

My first experience of writing with pen and ink was when I was in Miss Sally Zoll's fourth-grade class. I was left-handed and that's where the trouble started.

We had to have a penholder, a straight pen that would fit into the end, and a bottle of ink. The new penholders were really fancy and came in different colors. The idea was to dip the tip of the pen into the ink just so far. It would be so easy to get too much ink, then we would have ink all over our fingers and make a big mess.

Right-handed students had to put their paper on a diagonal and would write from left to right on the paper. I preferred to have my paper straight in line with the desk. But according to the instructions, I was also to have my paper diagonal on the left side of the desk. This caused a problem for me, as when I wrote from left to right, my hand would cover the writing and would also smear the wet ink. Therefore I would crook my hand to stay out of the wet ink and also to be able to see what I had written.

This did not go over with the teachers. When I refused to go along with the rules, the principal, Miss Olga Gauger, paid me a visit and told me if I did not follow the rules, they would make me right handed. They even put an ink bottle cap on my wrist so I could not crook my hand over the writing.

About that time, this freckle-faced red head threw the bottle cap across the room and it hit the blackboard. I made up my mind that no one was going to change me from being left-handed. They never mentioned it to me again.

I admired both of these teachers very much as they both encouraged me with my art ability.

According to statistics, 90 percent of the population is right handed, which means one in ten are left handed. More boys than girls are left-handed.

A left-handed child is just a mirror image of a right-handed one. So be a left-handed child's mirror. Sit opposite the child rather than next to him or behind him when you are teaching him.

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