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20 August 2012, 11:23


On the left side of the law, on the write side of the law: Who is write and who is left. When we look back into our own history often situations are resurrected which, then, were almost considered life-threatening.    

When I started school in 1957 it was discovered that I and several other pupils were left-handed. There was also a batch of these lefty miscreants in other classes. So the teachers of the respective classes had a pow-wow to find a solution to this fiendish spectre which has stuck its head out in their classes.     In some cases the bullied pupil had to write samples on a bit of paper to indicate the depth of their dyslexia. 

These samples were inspected by our erudite onnies.    

After long and serious conversations and conferences and interventions it was decided to place the lefties in the desks in the front of the class in order to be easily monitored by teacher. These poor mites were monitored by the rest of the class too.     

There appeared to be no progress in the journey to the other hand. other than teacher trying to force a child to take up the pen in the other hand plus a bit of scolding.  It was believed at the time that should the pupil pick up the pen with the right hand it would become a fixed habit and bob’s your uncle. It never worked.     

After some time it was decided to sort these lefties out once and for all. We were issued with another sum book. That is one of those writing books that have the little squares in instead of lines. The pupil had to use his right hand and write the alphabet letters into each square without touching the sides, inside or outside. Very clever but just a small hitch:  The pupil took more time to write in the squares and hence lagged behind the normal pupils. And consequently suffered the awesome wrath of teachers left hand.     

Throughout the years, after much trials and tribulations, We dumb lefties remained just that.  In standard 6 I had to write an essay on some forgotten theme and when it was completed it went to teacher. who literally roared  her indignation. My hand writing was proclaimed the worst she has ever seen and was an abomination or something like that. 

The penalty was to rewrite the essay. The most belittling factor was the interest some of the teachers had in the works of the Lefty. Other teachers were called to examine the lefty’s work  and even berate the lefty for his choice of  which hand to use
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