A Retrained Lefty?

“Our findings provide evidence for persisting differences in the functional neuroanatomy of handwriting between right-handers and converted left-handers, despite decades of right-hand writing.”

When I was young, I did not do very well in school. A large part of this was down to losing marks for my very untidy handwriting, which I did with my right hand. It never occurred to me that I was left-handed. I just thought I was shit at handwriting. I only started to wonder when I tried boxing and shooting, similarly when I had a go at archery. I now consider myself mildly ambidextrous and the only thing that truly bugs me is scissors.

I have been reading today that this “forced” handedness is associated with a number of ailments including stuttering.  Children who did not stutter before writing develop one when they are taught to write. Every once in a while, I get a verbal block, it is not quite a stutter.

When I first started school, it was at a trendy experimental late sixties school in Bristol. They let us be curiosity driven, I read and played chess. When I could beat my dad, I got bored of chess and went onto something else.  Not long after this we moved to Australia and I went to the Mines’ school which was ultra-old-fashioned and traditional. It was then that I started not doing so well at school, because of the tidiness marking. Which meant that I was no way near the top of the class. We had a babysitter and she asked me who was the cleverest in the class. I said, “me”. Somehow this got out to one of her other charges and I was picked upon for lying. I wonder how many of my classmates taught at a world top ten university.

I consider myself socially gauche. In the sense that social functions, especially quasi-formal ones are a complete nightmare. I hate these with a passion and finger buffet queues are death by buffet for me. Because of my boarding school training I can turn on the charm, but it is an act, that can’t be sustained for a long time.

My experiences at the school in Australia have been repeated a number of times. People turn on me and I become the target of bullying, ridicule et cetera. This has happened on a number of occasions and in diverse circumstance. Somehow, I become the target of rumour and gossip. A journalist who I refused an interview once mentioned my name over twenty times in an article in The Evening Standard. I don’t know what it is about me, but these are my observations. It keeps on happening, I am a kind of victim, a sacrificial lamb.

Is it partially down to me being a retrained lefty? Who knows?

The reason I am with this today Is that I am toying with the idea of taking up fishing, which I did as a child. I watched some fishing videos and guess what? I hold a fishing rod left-handed too. Weird.