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Two students, one left-handed and the other right-handed bumping elbows when trying to do their work

Kiersten Long

The Leftie Struggle

April 18, 2019

Kiersten Long
Pencil led left on the left-hander after writing.

If it’s bumping elbows or washing led off your hand every passing period, left-handers have some disadvantages compared to right-handers. “They don’t make a lot of things for left-handed people because they have more right handed than left handed people,” sophomore Alexis [Lexi] Martin said.

Going off what Martin stated, math teacher Floyd Andrews adds “When only 10% of the population is left-handed nothing is set up for you. Something as simple as lever devices which are designed for righties because of the leverage can cause problems,” he said, “I have a specific tool that is set up for left-handers.”

“My compound bow is designed for a lefty, if a right-hander tried it they would get hurt and wonder what is wrong with it but there is no problem for me.”
Sophomore Lexus Portfidio-McMiller also mentions a disadvantage to being left-handed. “If you’re seated next to someone who is right handed you bump each other all the time. You get smudges all over your hand and paper,”

With all these disadvantages there are still some advantages.  “An advantage is that a lot of people are right handed so when they see a left-handed person they think it’s cool,” Martin said. In agreeance with Martin, Portfidio-McMiller finds left-handed people rare. “Left-handed people are more unique and are known to type faster than most right-handed people,” she said. An advantage that Andrews mentions also brings sports into it. “I can play right field and reach out with my left hand to catch the ball. I can bat with both hands, since my shoulder surgery I can only throw with my right hand, but at one time I could throw with either hand,” he said.

Adding to sports Martin agrees there can be some struggles with it. “Sometimes like when trying to learn new things in cheer or other sports when someone else does it to the right of you naturally want to go to the left and it gets complicated trying to learn,” she said.

Countering that opinion, Portfidio-McMiller feels the opposite. “I don’t feel backward when learning something new,” she said, “Playing a sport can be difficult at times if you have to use your right hand.”

With Andrews experience when serving for our country, sometimes being a leftie was difficult. “all weapons are designed for right-handed shooting. The M16 A1A1 has exit port on the right so had to learn to shot from the right, but my dominant eye is my left. I looked really strange leaning across the weapon to site in but when I earn expert with the rifle they left me alone,” he said, “all radar screen and tower control are based on a right-hand world where you are making adjustments on the right. I had to teach myself how to use my right hand only so that my eyes never left the scope or my arm never crossed across the scope.”

In most, like Martin’s family, she is the only ones that are left-handed. “I am the only one in my family that is left-handed,” Martin said.

Having the same results with her family, “Nobody else in the family is left-handed nor Ambidextrous,” Portfidio-McMiller said.

However, with Andrews, it seems to be the complete opposite. “My Granddaughter is a lefty, my uncle on my mother’s side was a lefty and both my grandparents on my father’s side were lefties,” he said.

With all of the different advantages and disadvantages found upon left-handed people, the percentage of left-handers is not a huge number, which makes right-handed people more dominate and that makes left-handers more unique.

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