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Putting a Paw on the Handedness Issues

March 01, 1992

A lefty son of a lefty mother, I was taught to read and write by a lefty older sister well before entering first grade.

In 1980 teachers still discouraged left-handedness. Discouraged puts it mildly. About the third or fourth time the pencil was removed from my left to my right hand, with a stinging rap on the knuckles--my left knuckles, of course, I seized the teacher's ruler and retaliated. I was branded incorrigible and sent home.

Enrolled in a different school, I arrived late for my first day. The teacher was at the blackboard. She could not have known at first, why I ran to cling to her, crying. She was writing with her left hand.

FRED SCIFERS

Downey

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