September 28, 2008

Those Pesky Right-Handed Desks

Here's a web page that deals with one of my biggest complaints about discrimination against lefties, the right-handed desk:

http://www.handedness.org/action/fairdesks.html

Included are page-sized flyers you can print and then distribute at your school.

17 comments:

  1. I always wondered why they made most desks like that; when I started college, ALL the desks were for right-handed people. I would look around and see the lefties scrunched up and obviously struggling to write notes in a right-hand desk. It makes me angry, and I'm not even a lefty!

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  2. My boyfriend and I were just talking about this the other day. He's a lefty, and he said he hurt his back in school trying to twist to use a right handed desk!

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  3. My cousin was born with a fingerless right hand so he has to write with his left hand, and I must tell you he has one of the most beautiful hand writing styles I've seen so far.

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  4. Are you sure that this type of online type chat/reading content isn't making it worse? I would say start at the schools and make it more known. Wait if you raise awareness online maybe the problem will dissolve.

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  5. First you say that online chats make it worse. They you say maybe that raising awareness online will make the problem dissolve. Those statements are contradictory, and neither one makes a lot of sense. Problems don't just dissolve. By raising awareness, more people will be likely to bring the problem up at schools. The way to solve it is to get more people to pressure the schools to take the right action.

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  6. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. I'm a righty and I've been forced to use left-handed desks in school before. It's a little less comfortable than a right-handed desk, but as long as it doesn't interfere with my learning experience, I don't mind. The majority of people are right-handed and it's difficult for schools to make those kind of estimates.

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    Replies
    1. Micheal, of course you don't understand! You are right handed and have all the luxury in the world. Us leftys, however, have to compromise and try to "make do."
      Why don't you try using lefty scissors, putting your computer mouse in your left hand, playing a lefty guitar, and sitting at a lefty desk during classes if you have an option?
      Maybe that will open your eyes to our problems.

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    2. I agree with Samstar125, since I've been a lefty all my life... I used to go to a Catholic School where the nuns would literally whip me with a strap saying lefties are of the devil! Myself and another girl were the only lefties in the class... and believe me, we suffered!

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  7. Wake up. Schools don't have to estimate how many left-handed and right-handed desks they will need. Neutral desks have been available for a long time, and smart schools use them. They are actually more comfortable for both lefties and righties.

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  8. It isn't so bad if you only have to use right handed desks some of the time, but many times us lefties are forced to use right handed desks all of the time. I am lucky and have not experienced back pain or any discomfort having to use a left handed desk. But because it was so annoying to write on those small tablet desks in large university classrooms that I learned to write right-handed (not very well mind you). In my tiny high school I was the only lefty in all my graduating class (only 45 of us) so for the WASL tests (Washington Standardized Learning) I was told to use a larger table so it was fair. I think we can learn to adapt, being a leftie isn't a handicap.

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  9. Katy B -- Only one out of 45 is statistically unusual. (Although probably there were some forced switchers in there.) And of course, you're right, being left-handed isn't a handicap, and we are adaptable. But wouldn't it be even better if our needs received a little more consideration? I have learned that even right handed people don't like those right handed desks. They are small and uncomfortable for nearly everyone. Neutral desks are readily available. Even so, at my school they have continued buy right-handed desks. I suspect there are two reasons. One-way desks are cheaper. They are also smaller, and so they can cram more students into the classrooms. I recently took a class with 60 people in a room that was obviously built for no more than 40. If we'd had decent desks it wouldn't have been possible to get us all in there.

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  10. Like most left-handers, I can switch many tasks to the right hand with relative ease. There was something about those (gratuitous scatolological reference omitted) desks that totally blew my mind. I could not use them.

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  11. I sympathize with those writing these comments, yet I find it hard to believe that a right handed desk causes that much of a problem. Perhaps I'm just weird, but I enjoy using right handed desks in school. First of all, they basically have a built in arm rest for my right arm, which obviously doesn't do much work during writing. Secondly, right handed desks force me to keep my left wrist straight when I write, which makes my writing more legible, and I can avoid the famous "Left Hander's Curl."

    Like I said, perhaps I am an odd ball even among lefties.

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  12. JD - It depends on a lot of things, I think. I have had right-handed people tell me they also hate the right-handed desks and find them really uncomfortable. For me, having my left arm out there with no support causes shoulder pain. Some people just don't feel right being all scrunched up on a little desk that barely has room for a sheet of paper. There are two-sided desks available that are much more comfortable for everyone and that have more space on the desk for your arm, your paper, your book, etc. Everyone I know prefers them, whether right or left handed. They cost a little more than the one-sided desks, so schools are reluctant to buy them.

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  13. When I was in high school we had the right-handed desks, and it was terrible. Every lefty (117 students out of 2000) signed petitions, complained to the staff, did everything in our power to make the school change to neutral desks. Nothing we did helped, we were told it's a "minor inconvenience" for four years and that we should just get over it.

    We did eventually get the neutral desks though! Aparently, all it takes is one pregnant student to not be able to fit into the desk to get the school to change them. Pretty foolish, huh?

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  14. Michael- Since you are right-handed you can't even understand what the fuss is among left-handed people having to use right-handed desks. Just because you use a left-handed desk for a class period or two doesn't mean you know how left-handed people feel. Most left-handers will have used or will use a right-handed desk from K-college and it does cause problems with the body and it is very uncomfortable to use. In high school one class i took had a left-handed desk and everyday i would have to move that desk to my seat because all the right-handed people thought it was uncomfortable and awkward. So why should left-handers be discriminated against when right-handed people aren't? We're people too and it would be nice if schools and colleges would realize this and get desks that are suitable for both left and right-handed people.

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  15. I agree, at my school in most classrooms there are righty desks. I'm left-handed, and from the first day I knew it was going to be torture. The first month using them it wasn't bad, then when it got past that, my neck, back, and shoulders ache so badly it hurts whenever I move them (and actually results to me having to take little breaks between writing.)
    In my school, it's a private school, and they get money. I don't understand why it'd be a problem, considering its only a little more money, which the school makes with tuition.

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