Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Girl, You Got Those Hands

The other day I picked up a pen to write something down, and I realized something rather startling. In the last year, I have rarely hand-written anything. It struck me as very odd that after nearly twenty years of writing with a pencil or pen all day long, as soon as I graduated from college, I pretty much stopped writing entirely. Don't get me wrong, I still pick up a pen to jot things down, since I can't remember anything unless I write it down, but it's nothing like the amount of writing that I've done on a daily basis for the majority of my life.
On the other hand, I do type much faster than I ever did before. I've even learned to type with both hands (get your mind out of the gutter!). I'm left-handed, but I use my right hand for a lot of things, like throwing, using scissors, and various other things. But there are a few things that my right hand is useless for. Eating for instance. I can barely pick up french fries with my right hand, let alone use some sort of utensil. If I have to cut up a steak, I often sit there with the fork in my left hand and the knife in my right, then switch, then switch back, then switch again. I once broke my left wrist and had to wear a cast that immobilized my whole left hand. That was pretty much the worst month and a half of my life. I couldn't do anything. I was in junior high at the time, and we were required to do P.E., but I had to go sit in the library and write essays about sports. My P.E. teacher was continually pestering me to write more neatly. I would tell her "I'm left-handed", thinking the neon green cast on my left arm would shut her up, but no. She kept on about it. One day, after I said "I'm left-handed" to her again, she said to me "That is not an excuse for this handwriting! It looks like a four year old!" So in response, I brandished my neon green encased arm directly in front of her face and yelled "This is my left hand!" She simply paused and said "Oh." But she left me alone after that.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah. Things I can't do with my right hand. So for a long time, I couldn't get my right hand to go where I wanted it to on the keyboard. I had a typing class in high school but it still just did not work. So for a long time I used my left hand for the whole keyboard. I got pretty fast too, like 50 wpm. I know! People would see me doing that and just stare. But after working at my office job for the past year, spending the majority of every day typing away, my one-handed method wasn't gonna cut it. So I now have my right hand under control and I type like a normal person. If I type excessively, it still hurts my right wrist a lot more than my left one, but that's the only lingering effect. I don't think I could even go back to the left-hand-only method if I wanted to. Crazy, no?

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