Ms. P was a fifth grade teacher who had light purple hair and carried a wooden ruler. “Whack!” Suddenly the knuckles on my left hand stung as red welt marks branded me. She was determined to convert her southpaw student to right-handedness. I was to conform or else!
Ms. P’s lacquered ruler smacks had a profound effect on me.
This educator was teaching me that I wouldn’t be socially accepted, guaranteed not to excel and I wasn’t in my right mind – to know any better. I did know better. My young, intuitive self knew that if I changed my writing hand for her I’d turn out to be a dissimilar thinker. Her ferocious physical method of conversion never made me cave. No big, fat, green pencil would find its way between my fingers – in my other hand.
Ms P. would roll over in her grave to know that today I possess the skills of being mixed handed. With all the standard clichés about left vs. right and who’s in their right mind, how about the acceptance of others just as they are.
Why was I supposed to change such a significant part of me? I didn’t want her to change her purple hair. The swift smacks kept on and I kept on with my lefty edge. So with my left hand in a hook position and the paper sporting a mean right tilt, my fancy cursive handwriting became special and superior – the best in the class! My cursive writing is beautiful, to plainly print – not so much. Cursive writing feels more natural in that various senses awaken. The phenomenon of explosive imagination, vibrant colors and a stillness of white noise happens in my head. My mind’s eye comes forth in high gear as I take pen to paper; and more so when I tilt my head to the right (a true dreamer tilts her head).
From fifth grade on, I’ve callused my hands to a world set to accommodate right hands. Every day items all around you can be slapped onto the righty list: office equipment, home appliances, note pads (this one drives me crazy!) and most things in between. Thus, I’ve resolved to problem solve the right way for me. No matter who or what may drive you to change your ways, establish your own boundaries in creative thinking and in ways to navigate your future.
To this end, I am graciously left to write….
“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.” Jim Rohn