This post is part of the 100 word challenge over at Julia’s Place.

Grandma hated school. She went back in the days when being left-handed was a criminal offence. Faced with the choice between being punched frequently in the back, or struggling to hold a pen in her right-hand, she opted for the latter. From then on she concentrated so hard on forming letters with her non-dominant hand, that learning anything was beyond her reach. Knowledge and understanding were for others. She was stupid and lazy – her teachers told her so. But she had her moment of triumph on the day she was the only child in the class who could correctly spell Wednesday.

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23 Responses to Left-handed

  1. deepamwadds says:

    What a lovely story. We all know those who were constrained like that, but her triumph swung the piece into a sweet small victory. You have to have command and the ability to see things in a non-ordinary way to spell that day!

  2. Deirdre says:

    Terrific story! Today’s the first time I’ve taken up the 100WCGU and I’m loving all the wonderful vignettes from you seasoned 100 worders!

  3. Bod for tea says:

    I always remember being taught the phonetic spelling of the word and I hear it in my head even now πŸ˜€ Lovely piece, sad but triumphant at the end. (P.S. Thanks for popping over to my place earlier *waves*)

  4. Lynda says:

    I am left-handed. Even though I was taught to write in 1959, I had a very progressive teacher who wrote on the board using her left hand to the centre of the board then swapped the chalk into her right hand to finish the sentence. She wanted to make all children feel included. How cool was that for the late 50’s?
    Thank heavens I didn’t have to endure the punches in the back. I’m glad that ‘Grandma’ had her chance to shine.

  5. Him Up North says:

    The olden days were cruel to non-conformists like your character, weren’t they? Great story. πŸ™‚

  6. Was so relieved at how this ended. Isn’t it shocking that this happened up to , well not that long ago at all. Outrageous. You have , again, written a piece to be proud of. I hope she was waving some (left-handed)fingers from under the table too!

  7. Judee says:

    Good for her! It must have been terrible being left handed in that situation. I’m glad she triumphed in front of those who teased her.

  8. Mike says:

    A great story.
    I can remember my early school days when left handed children were given a hard time. I saw it happen to my younger brother.
    I admire that ability to spell Wednesday correctly – something I never mastered as a young child.

  9. I’m not left-handed, but my sister is. Thank goodness those ludicrous times are gone! You do wonder how anyone could have thought it mattered! But I do know people who were treated like Grandma. I wish I was ambidextrous. My brother broke his right hand playing rugby at school and learned to use his left just as well, although the writing from the two hands was different. A useful trick! That’s a great piece, Sally-J

    • sjbwriting says:

      I use both hands but for different things. I always hold my cup or glass in my left hand, answer the phone with my left-hand and if I’m digging the garden it’s left handed. But I always write with my right hand. If I’m sweeping I push left-handed and pull right-handed so I’m forever swapping the broom from one side to another!

  10. Gilly Gee says:

    Good for grandma! A touching reminder of the way things were!

  11. IsobelandCat says:

    A boy in my class at primary school was naturally right- handed, but decided to write with his
    left hand . He was bright, and maybe it started because he was bored. He transferred tomour school past reception. But by the time he was ten his writing with either hand was atrocious. No teacher ever tried to force him to write with his right hand, which, in the light of what I learned later, seems remarkable. A shame Grandma didn’t go to my school!

    • sjbwriting says:

      What a strange decision on the boy’s part! I can imagine some children trying it out of curiosity, but for him to keep it up for so long is quite an achievement – obviously not a very useful achievement in his case, but an achievement nevertheless!

  12. DancingInTheRain says:

    I love it! A feel-good, true-to-life story (about the olden days) written really well. I can feel her pride and a touch of, is it, revenge?

  13. It was so sad that this happened. Apparently many children forced to write with the wrong hand developed a stammer. I love Grandma’s small victiry but what a shame she gave up on knowledge and learning because of this ludicrous custom.

  14. My daughters are left handed and their teachers do not like it either. *sigh*

    • sjbwriting says:

      I can’t believe it still has such a stigma – I thought we’d left the dark ages well and truly behind. *double sigh*

      Hope your daughters don’t get too much stick for it.

  15. gsussex says:

    That was so sad! Feel for Grandma, esp. as I am left-handed. Some educationalists have a lot to answer for . . .

  16. Yay! Let’s hear it for thelefties! We are a strange but powerful bunch! nice take Sally-Jayne!

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