About 10 years ago, I read about a young man who wrote and sent a thank-you note every day for a year. He started because he lost his job, felt depressed, and wanted to remind himself that he had a lot to be thankful for. He soon learned that he got more out of saying thank you than simply counting his blessings.
In 2023, I’m taking a slightly different approach. I’m planning to publicly thank people who have had a positive impact on my life in ways they probably didn’t plan, and most likely did so without even realizing it.
Out of nowhere, as I climbed into bed, I thought of my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Wykes. I think that’s when I began to learn cursive. I think it was second grade. I know it’s Mrs. Wykes I have to thank for a very specific trick she taught me.
Not all lefties write with a backward slant.
That’s because some of us had a left-handed teacher that knew a simple trick.
When most children learn to write, their teacher helps them position the paper with a slight tilt to the left. This helps give that pleasant right-leaning slant to the letters. Lefties generally write with a left-leaning slant. It’s inevitable when the paper slants to the left.
Handwriting analyzers believe that left-leaning slant is a sign of stubborness or defiance. Not so. Well… it might be a little bit true about me, but not because of the slant of my handwriting.
Not all lefties contort their wrist clockwise as they write.
Again, that almost has to happen when the paper is leaned to the left. It’s either that, or she must contort her body to sit sideways at her desk to write properly.
Not all lefties smudge the ink/pencil as their sleeve brushes over the newly penned paper.
Another side-effect of the slant of the paper. You get the picture I’m sure.
Mrs. Wykes was a lefty.
She deftly gave my paper a slight tilt to the right. Voila! A pleasant right-leaning slant. No smudges, no cramped wrists, not defiant backward slant. How do those other lefties deal with that crink in their wrist, I wonder.
Look at that! What would have been analyzed as defiance got transformed by Mrs. Wykes into “you are open to the world around you and like to socialize with other people.”
I don’t have near the beautiful handwriting that Mrs. Wykes strove to teach her students. I have had people ask why I slant my paper ‘funny.’ And, I am forced to make adjustments when I’m given something to sign. The worst is those electronic signature gizmos. But then again, sometimes those things are positioned so high that this 5’2″ woman must stand on tiptoes to see. But that’s a story for another day.
Thank you Mrs. Wykes for adapting to your left-handed students
It’s a such a little thing, don’t you think? Yet, it made such a difference in my life. And quite honestly, she made me feel like being a lefty was something special.
Do you remember a teacher that taught you a lot and gave you reasons to tip your hat? Please feel free to share.
(By the way: I’m sure that hand-writing analysis is not even a “soft science.”)