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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

KOVACH: Left-handed and proud of it, baby

Have you ever tried to learn something backward?

Ask any left-handed person, and I’m sure they’d start spouting off anecdotes of childhood mishaps with scissors, or a variety of other misadventures. And as one member of the 10 percent of the globe who are left handed, I can certainly relate.

That’s right. I’m one of those people you see with ink smudged all over the side of their hand after taking notes in class.

I wear my watch on the “wrong” wrist and have to take it off to adjust the time. I’ve learned to play sports in reverse from almost exclusively right-handed instructors.

I knock elbows with you when I’m sitting next to you at a table. I avoid power tools for fear of a freak handedness-induced accident.

I’m also one of those poor saps you see struggling with a right-handed desk, a.k.a. the bane of a lefty student’s existence. Not only are left-handed desks rarely present, but they’re often lined up along the left side of the room.

It’s often more convenient to sit where you’d like, uncomfortably twisted in the desk, than to fix the lefty feng shui. And don’t get me started on when I see a right-handed person using a perfectly located lefty desk. My back begs you — only use it if you need it.

Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about this because I live in a predominantly right-handed world, and it’s pretty much always been that way.

For example, take some of the words we use. “Sinister” derives from a Latin word for “on the left side,” while “dexterous” derives from “on the right side.”

So left-handed people are evil and right-handed people are skillful? Seems like some unfair labeling if you ask me.

Right-handedness is so ingrained in our culture that at times, it seems like us lefties just can’t catch a break.

Look at normal, everyday practices. We shake hands right-handed. We read left to right, but that means the pages to turn are on the right-hand side.

But despite the inconveniences, being left-handed can have its advantages.

We’re so used to living in a right-handed world that we’re more able to adapt to using both hands. Even though left-handed scissors are widely available now, I only use right-handed ones. I play guitar right-handed.

Many years of practice learning from right-handed people has made me an expert in looking at things backwards. That’s right. I can read upside down and backwards.

Lefties are also right-brain dominant, which means we’re in tune with the creative side of our brain, making us more likely to be musically and artistically talented.

But, most importantly, I look at being left-handed as being in some sort of exclusive club.

We lefties get really excited when we meet more of our kind. A first meeting among lefties will undoubtedly lead to sharing lefty-related stories.

And there’s nothing more exciting than going out to eat with a big group of people and realizing several lefties have unintentionally arranged themselves all next to each other.

Believe it or not, a meal without elbow knocks is a momentous event.

But what can we do to make the world a little more lefty-friendly?

First, I suggest banning all hand-specific classroom desks. Second, to all you righties out there, know who among your friends is left-handed.

Offer up the occasional lefty high five or handshake. Spend a day going lefty in solidarity.

I’m proud to be left-handed and part of such a small group within the general population.

Of course, I don’t expect too much to change because I wrote this column, but if you ever see me walking around campus, I’d be happy to offer up a left-handed high five.

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