Any "reformed" southpaws out there?

I was once left handed. In kindergarden, my teacher said that I was using the “wrong” hand and made me switch.

Fast forward 2.5 decades. . . Now I write with my right hand, but I hold my pens and pencils like a left handed person. Smearing ink all over papers and getting a lovely blott of ink or graphite on my hand.

Are there any Dopers who started out as lefties but were made into righties?

Well, this probably doesn’t count, but I pretty much do everything right-handed except write. The cure for me was slamming my left thumb in the tractor cab door when I was three or so. I walked around with that thumb straight up in the air for weeks (after they sewed it back on).

I play almost all sports left-handed, but other things like writing, eating, playing guitar, etc. I do right-handed. I was never “forced” to use my right hand, however. And there are some things I can do equally well with either hand. I often joke that I’m not ambidextrous, I just use whichever hand is most convenient.


I’m the exact opposite, and definitely got the short end of this stick. To wit:

Lefty Skills:
play guitar

Righty Skills

…so instead of being a lefty batter or pitcher, where I’d be in demand, or a southpaw boxer, where I’d be a dangerous wild card, all I get is ink on the heel of my hand, to elbow the person next to me at dinner, and to pay too much for my guitars.

:mad: :wink:

I don’t know if it counts, but apparently I used to reach for things with my left hand as a baby and toddler. My grandmother took care of me as an infant, and felt the need to “fix” this. Eventually, I started using my right hand. Same deal with a couple of my cousins that she babysat.

I nver knew some people could use one hand for somethings and the other for different tasks. Learn something new everyday. . . :cool:

They were still doing that in the 1980s??? :eek:

I am shocked and horrified. When I was starting school in the 1950s my mother told my teachers in no uncertain terms that they would not “turn around” my writing. By the time my son was in school (1990) it wasn’t even mentioned.

Now if we could just do something about those folding writing surfaces in college lecture halls.

Rant aside, I find I can do more things with my right hand than my right-handed friends can do with their left hands.

I used whichever hand was convenient for everything until I broke my left wrist. It healed badly and had to be reset so I was many weeks in a cast. During that time we were learning to write cursive at school (so what, second grade?) so I learned it with my right hand and never went back to writing with my left.

Other than writing and threading a needle I use whichever hand is convenient.

My kindergarden was in Louisiana. It was a public school that still used corporal punishment. (I was scared of my kindergarden teacher because she spanked us with a ruler. My parents didn’t complain to the school board, it was exceptable. Of course, I often joke with my father, I was polite or bruised.)

College desks are a pain. :mad:

Oh yeah. My first grade teacher tried to make me write with my right hand, and that was in 1983, in a MA public school of all places.
Mouse_Maven, are you being serious? Most people are not completely right or left-handed, though it seems more righties are though simply because objects cater to them. I don’t know to many lefties who don’t use their right hand more often for some task or other.
I find the OP’s question interesting, since one of my co-workers is planning to try this summer to teach her daughter how to be left-handed again. The girl wasn’t forced to change, but made the switch on her own when she broke her arm, and her right-handed writing is awkward and terrible. I don’t know how successful the attempt will be, but I bet she’ll be neater if it works out. but my writing is neater than most righties, so I’m biased. :slight_smile:

I’m left dominant for everything except pencils and chopsticks. (I use a knife and fork lefty, though.) I used to only sketch lefty, but since I hold a pen or pencil in my right hand more often, I usually only draw pictures righty now. I absolutely despise trying to aim a bow or shoot a gun righty.

My mom claims when she was teaching me to write my name she just never considered the possibility I could be lefthanded.


Going to Catholic school and being taught by nuns cured me of that sin of writing with my left hand!

Now I am about 50-50 in things that I do with my left side. As a baseball player I was a switch hitter (one point for the nuns) but I can kick farther and more accurately with my left foot. The one thing I absolutely do with my right side is to shoot a gun. It takes all of my concentration to close my left eye while leaving the right open.

If I tried to wink at a girl using my left eye I’d be pegged as some sort of weirdo or pervert.

I was beaten with a blackboard ruler for writing left handed. I still form certain letters backwards writing with my right. In fact, I’m still working out what I’m natuarlly lef handed at - for example, my bowling average took a marked upswing once I figured out I should be bowling left-handed…


I had a similar but almost opposite experience. Or something.

Neither of my parents were left handed, and until I was in first grade, my parents would put things in my right hand and I didn’t know WTF to do with it.

Wasn’t until first grade, no less, that things started to make sense. I still remember the day (this was 1958, BTW) when I picked up my pencil in my right hand and looked at it like it was an alien life form, and Connie De****, who was sitting next to me, took it out of my right hand and put it in my left hand. Had I known what an epiphany was when I was 5, that would have described it. Instead, I remember thinking “Wow, so THIS is how one holds a pencil! Cool!” :slight_smile:

And yeah, I eat lefty and write lefty, but do most everything else righty, which I use as my excuse for being totally uncoodinated in anything that even looks like sports.

My grandma is a reformed lefty, and her handwriting has always been terrible and shaky for it. Unfortunately, for as long as I can remember, she’s always just told me that she’s too old to try to switch now. I started school in 83 or 84, and they never even thought about reforming me. My sister who started school 5 years before me wasn’t urged to change to her right hand either (and it wouldn’t have worked anyways). The only problem I had in school with being a lefty was trying to learn my right from my left. They used to say, “Class, put your right hand over your heart. It’s the hand you write with.” Needless to say, I had a devil of a time learning my right from my left.

Also, not all lefties have a problem with writing or holding the pen. I had a really excellent 1st grade teacher who taught me how to write without smearing ink or anything. I used to even write with a fountain pen with little to no problem.

As for own left-handed tendencies, I’m pretty left-hand dominant. The exceptions are throwing a ball (including a bowling ball) or swinging a bat. I’ve been told (and it might be total BS), that I should definitely be using my right hand for bowling because my right eye is dominant. It never quite made sense to me because when I learned to shoot a rifle or an arrow, I totally couldn’t do it right-handed, and wouldn’t that mean I used my left eye to aim? Anyhow. Almost every lefty I know does at least one or two things right-handed. The only thing I wish I could do right handed is crocheting. Trying to follow diagrams written for righties is a total drag.

My grandparents (on my father’s side) were Hungarian, and very domineering and adamant about certain things.

When they discovered i was left-handed, they apparently wanted to force me to switch. My mother, however, put her foot down and told them to take a hike.

As it is, my “handedness” is all over the place.

[li] writing[/li][li] knife and fork[/li][li] kicking (soccer, etc.)[/li][li] throwing/bowling (softball, cricket, etc.)[/li][li] string instruments (i can’t actually play one, but i know that if i could, i would hold a guitar left-handed; i play air-guitar left-handed :))[/li][li] fighting (i don’t fight, but my boxing stance is southpaw)[/li][/ul]

[li] batting/hitting (cricket, softball, golf)[/li][li] racquet sports (tennis, squash)[/li][li] spoon (cereal, soup, etc.)[/li][li] computer mouse[/li][li] most tools (hammer, etc.)[/li][/ul]

I haven’t fired a gun since i was in my teens, but when firing a rifle or a shotgun, i rest the stock on my left shoulder. I think that makes me left-handed? I’ve never fired a pistol, but i would use my right hand for that.

My dad is write/eat/throw left, bat/kick right. Like a lot of “lefties”, he’s a bit of a mix.

My father was forced to play sports left-handed because his dad wanted a southpaw… until his brother was born when he was 7 and turned out left handed. My grandfather was a bit of a bastard.

leftwise, he:

Everything else is right handed.

He also drives with both feet.

I’m quite thoroughly right-handed myself, but I hold a pen/cil as if I was left-handed. In my right hand. Or so I’m told–to me it’s the only possible way to hold a stylus for writing. When I was in kindergarten/first grade, they did try to get me to hold my pencil the ‘right’ way, with a variety of odd little slip-on things, but it never caught on with me. My handwriting is quite legible too, although it was horrid before I took a mechanical drawing class.

On the other hand, heh, when I draw–which is sadly not very often–I tend to hold the pencil the ‘right’ way for some reason; it seems better suited to the sort of control needed for that task. But if I try to write that way, it’s a disaster.

Lefty here. I wasn’t changed, exactly. In first grade, when we practiced printing I used my left hand to write to the middle of the page, then switched to my right. My teacher was forced to be progressive, in that the principal forbade the teachers from “fixing” lefties. Unfortunately, he didn’t say she couldn’t make me choose one hand and stick with it. I chose the left. I still do a lot of things with either hand equally well.