The Forgotten Lefties

I don’t have a photo of this to hand, but CU Boulder attach computer mice in some of their labs to the right side of each keyboard, leaving about 10 inches of cord free. Thanks, CU! You have access ramps for the disabled and want to increase the diversity of your students, but you don’t think about the 10% of your population that is left handed. I don’t know why I felt so mad at the time – I just went to a different lab to do my work. Perhaps it was because I really cannot use a computer as quickly with my right hand (almost, but not quite), and it doesn’t feel at all comfortable.

This brings me onto my next theory – the 50% skill theory. I believe that when we are all born, we each have 100% of skill to allocate between our hands for various sports (some athletes get more than 100%). Left handers get so confused with what to do – do I mirror what the instructor is doing or repeat exactly? As a result, our skill gets split more like 50/50 instead of, say, 80/20 in a regular person. We have equal skill in our hands but neither is particularly good. I have always found that I am terrible in any activity that involves throwing, catching or aiming, so maybe that’s why.

Another thing. When I was in school, we had left handed scissors. You know the type – the blades cross the opposite way. If they have moulded handles, they are moulded to fit the left hand rather than the right. I just cannot use left handed scissors. I hold right-handed scissors in my left hand, but my eye is trained to look at the “cutting” side of the scissors. If I pick up a left-handed pair, I look at the wrong side and my line goes wonky. The funny thing is that I remember when I was about 7, my school bought few left-handed scissors, and they would make me use them, since there were not enough right-handed ones to go around. As a result, my work turned out utterly crap.

2 Replies to “The Forgotten Lefties”

  1. I know what you mean about left-handed scissors. I was given a pair last year but I can’t cut straight with them. I have become so used to using right-handed scissors that I can’t use ones designed especially for left handers. Now, when it comes to left handed knives – that’s a different matter. I can cut thin, even slices every time. And it’s amusing to see the results when a right hander uses my bread knife. 🙂

  2. im sure theres a joke about… YOU KNOW… somewhere in there, but its interesting about the scissors.

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