Insights into Teens: Episode 6 “Left Handers”

This week we explore what it’s like to be left handed. What are some of the challenges faced by left handed people. We discuss some interesting studies that delve into common characteristics share by left handed people. We’ll also explore other famous historical people who were left handed.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:10Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Waylon, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:0:31Welcome to insights into teams. This is episode six. Lefthanders. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my cohost, Madison Waylon. Hi everyone. How are you doing today? Madison?

Speaker 3:0:45Uh, not too well. She knows I’m kind of sick, but I still decided to go through with the podcast.

Speaker 2:0:51You are a trooper. I know you’re not feeling well and we appreciate you joining us today. So today we’re going to be talking about all things left handed. Um, and we’re doing this because you’re left hand or aren’t you?

Speaker 3:1:05Yes, I am. And how long have you been a lefthander? My entire life. Yeah. That’s usually how that works. Yeah. You don’t really convert on my shirt, let, unless you’re ambidextrous

Speaker 2:1:16or less, your rocky aiming. You learn how to box with your right arm. Sure. Okay. You didn’t see that one. All right. Yeah. So we are going to talk about, uh, some famous lefthander. So you know, you’re in good company. Uh, we have a survey of how, what are the effects of being lefthanded. We’ll talk about the results of that. Uh, then we’ll talk about some of the challenges lefthanders face and, and how you deal with them. Then there was an interesting article I had from um, a psychologist who explained how lefthanded people work differently. Uh, then we will talk about some fun facts about left handers.

Speaker 4:2:02Okay.

Speaker 2:2:03Let’s get right into it. So, you know already that there is a small percentage of the population who are left handed.

Speaker 3:2:11Yes. And actually know the co the entire percentage, which are 10% of humans are lefthanded and the other 90%, of course it’s right handed.

Speaker 2:2:22I’m glad you specified humans. They’re this way. We know who we’re talking about. Um, so of the 10% that are left handed, there are some notable exceptions from history. Uh, and this is just a brief list of people that you probably heard of. So you’ve got Leonardo Davinci. I’ve heard of him. Uh, engineering artists. You have Henry Ford. Yeah. I’ve also heard of him. You have a Marie Curie? I don’t know what that is. Okay. Marie Curie was an inventor and a scientist in the 18 hundreds who discovered radium a radioactive material. She did all kinds of work with it, medical applications and develop the x ray machine, um, and had major contributions to science. Um, Benjamin Franklin. He was, well, he was lefthanded. He’s dead now, so he’s not left handed now. Um, so you’ve heard of him? Yes. How about Michelangelo?

Speaker 3:3:28Leanne artist? He’s a teenage mutant Ninja turtle too, actually. Daddy. I know. Um, so it was Raphael, he was another renaissance artist, a Renoir red Robin was another artist. How about Albert Einstein and about him and I never, it was actually lefthanded. Yeah.

Speaker 2:3:49Um, how about Jimi Hendrix? You know who that is?

Speaker 3:3:52Uh, yeah,

Speaker 2:3:54he was a very talented guitarist in the 1960s, uh, have a babe Ruth I front of him. Okay. So of the people here, what, how could you categorize these in a few simple terms?

Speaker 3:4:11Like what they did?

Speaker 2:4:15Well, we know a bunch of them are artists, right? So they’ve got gotta be creative. Yes. We know a couple of them are pretty smart people. You look at the Vinci and Franklin and Einstein and even Henry Ford, pretty smart people, right? Yup. This is some pretty cool company in the bin. The only notable athletes here as babe Ruth. Now, he’s not the only talented athletes. It’s that’s lefthanded. But this little cross section here and the talent that’s in this little pool I think will play out a little bit more as we get further in the episode. Look at some of the things we’re gonna talk about. So just to take away for this is you’re in pretty good company with these people. That’s good to know.

Speaker 4:5:08Okay.

Speaker 2:5:10There was a survey that was done by a website called left handers died. Did you know there’s a lefthanders day?

Speaker 3:5:17Yeah, I actually learned from a video

Speaker 2:5:20that’s pretty interesting. You guys have your own day, right? Handers don’t have a Durham Day. Yeah. So, so this survey, uh, asked a series of questions to try to get a feel from lefthanders, uh, of what the effects of being left handed arm. And I don’t know if we’ll go through all these. So we’ll go through a first couple here that are interesting. Um, so the SD, you consider yourself to be more intelligent than the average person. And I’m going to ask you that. Do you think you’re more intelligent than the average person?

Speaker 3:5:53I would tend to agree in certain certain situations because you know I have a really high average in math, which is how I got an in the advanced math program. I also am good with all my other subjects because I have on my report cards, you’ve only seen a A’s even though like there are low, there are certain numbers that aren’t like 100 but I still get very high grades and my report card. And you’ve seen how I don’t really need too much help with math because I’m a pro at it and well I would consider myself a pro.

Speaker 2:6:36So you’ve consistently gotten principal’s list for straight A’s? Yes. How many other kids in your class get that?

Speaker 3:6:43Well since we’re in the advanced math, everyone is smart and they, a lot of people have gotten principal’s list and people have also gone on her own.

Speaker 2:6:52So you’re an honors, you’re, you’re advanced math. How many kids in your class, percentage wise or an advanced math? Is it like a 20% are in there and 80% are not?

Speaker 3:7:04Well there were, there are four classes in total and each class has this as a similar amount, but mainly other clot. But we probably have the least amount of kids.

Speaker 2:7:16So it’s safe to say you’re probably in the top 20% of your grade probably. I think that answers the question right there. So the survey said that 58% of the respondents consider themselves more intelligent. I think that’s pretty much in line with what you’re saying. The next question they asked was do you consider yourselves to be more creative?

Speaker 3:7:38Well, I can, well, whenever I do the writing that I have now, um, they only require a paragraph. And the last time I did it, I wrote three pages. That’s pretty creative. And I also make comics and I, oh, I also, um, like to draw and pretty much be creative as well.

Speaker 2:8:05So the safe to say you’re pretty creative. Yes. Well the survey, 48% of the respondents thought they were more creative. 43% said they were average. Only 9% said they were less creative. So those two points there I think highlight our famous people. So you had a lot of creative people and a lot of intelligent people there. Uh, so that’s sort of in line with what we’re seeing with you and with the bowl. Uh, the next question they ask is do you consider yourselves to be more awkward or clumsy?

Speaker 3:8:37Well, I’ve never had too much of a problem with being clumsy. I mean, sometimes I am a bit awkward, but I would say I’m not very clumsy because, well, I don’t really make too many mistakes. I mean, was she, we’re all human, so we do make mistakes.

Speaker 2:9:02Speak for yourself. Well, that’s jokes. Well that’s good. If you don’t think that you’re clumsy, you’re awkward. That’s contrary to what this poll suggests because 85% of the people who were polled consider themselves to be more awkward or clumsy. None of them consider themselves to be average of 15% consider themselves to be less clumsy or awkward. Uh, the next was do you experience difficulties at school related to being left handed? This was a yes or no question, Eh, well,

Speaker 3:9:38I’ve never really experienced any problems. I mean, if you met me for the first time and you saw me, right? Yeah, it might be a little shocked, but there hasn’t really been any like people making fun of me because I’m left handed.

Speaker 2:9:51What about working in school? Like, like I’m, we’ll talk about this in more detail, but do you find it difficulty writing as a left hander or tools for lefthanders or anything like that?

Speaker 3:10:00Well, some, well, with certain tools and sometimes it’s writing, yes.

Speaker 2:10:06Okay. And that’s in line with the survey. 71% say they do experience more difficulties. Uh, 29% said no. If you have difficulty, do you receive help from DHS?

Speaker 3:10:19I’ve been used to having difficulties with being lefthanded, but I’ve never really, it’s never gotten hard enough to where I needed any help.

Speaker 2:10:31Well that’s good. Uh, because according to the survey, you probably wouldn’t receive it. A 24% of the respondents said they did get help from teachers. 76% did not. Um, the last thing we had in the survey here, uh, is have you ever used any specialists lefthanded implements or tools or left handed scissors or anything like that?

Speaker 3:10:55Yeah, I’ve used them.

Speaker 2:10:58Is there a lot of those available at school?

Speaker 3:11:01Uh, no. I have to sometimes go to the store. Normally if I need a pair of scissors because they are, all the school scissors are kind of uncomfortable for me.

Speaker 2:11:12Yeah, that’s what I expected. 61% of respondents said they have used lefthand that implements. So kind of, kind of an interesting little survey there about how, how being lefthanded affects people.

Speaker 4:11:30Okay.

Speaker 2:11:31I’m guessing this next section that we talk about influence a lot of those answers and this section is challenges for left handers. This came from a website called interesting engineering. So I’m going to run down this list here and just get your thoughts on, um, one of the number one things on the list was the most student desks are right handed, not lefthanded. Yeah. Now, do you experience that in school now?

Speaker 3:11:59Well, not yet. I might experience it when I go to middle school, but um, yeah, I can already picture what’s going to happen. I’m always going to have to stretch my arm. I won’t be able to lay it down and I’ll get tired quickly.

Speaker 2:12:12Yeah. Or you’ll have to sit in an uncomfortable position or something like that. Yeah. Um, left a lack of left handed scissors, which you’ve kind of talked about already.

Speaker 3:12:23Well, yes, but when I normally buy them, I’ve always been able to get the left handed scissors. But if I wasn’t told to buy any and I have to use regular scissors, they’re kind of uncomfortable for me.

Speaker 2:12:35I’ll bet they are. Uh, what are you probably haven’t encountered before, but measuring tapes tend to be upside down. So usually when you use a measuring tape, you know the, the ones that pull out of the little holder, usually what happens, did you hold it in your dominant hand and then you pull it out? Well, since they’re designed for right handers, you, if you would hold it in your right hand and pulled out, it would be right side up with the numbers. But you’re holding your left hand and pull it out. The numbers are upside down. I don’t know if they make lefthanded, um, measuring tapes or not, but that may be something you’ve run into in the future. Here’s one that I know you’ve talked about. You get anchor graphite on your hand when writing.

Speaker 3:13:17Yep. I have that happen daily.

Speaker 2:13:19And what did you call it the other day?

Speaker 3:13:22I called it silver surfer

Speaker 2:13:24silver surfers syndrome. No, I’ve seen certain implements that actually fit over your pinky and then come up over the back of your hand there so that when you write that gets dirty. So we know that they’ve got instruments for that. Uh, we also talked about this one. A spiral notebooks are like writing on a hack saw. So you’re riding on a spiral notebook. The spirals are always to the left of the paper. Yep. So I have to imagine it. That is an uncomfortable experience.

Speaker 3:13:54Yeah. But I’ve learned to get used to it and it’s not that big of a problem, but still low difficulty.

Speaker 2:14:05So what do you do to compensate for that? Do you hold the paper differently or something?

Speaker 3:14:10Well, I just try to write quickly when I’m near, they’re like slightly quicker than how I would write normally to make it, to make sure I don’t have to go through that comfortable position for a very long time. Okay.

Speaker 2:14:26So I have to imagine if that’s the case then three ring binders are probably a similar problem, so, yeah.

Speaker 3:14:32Yeah. Which is why I always take out the paper and ha and move it a little further to the right so I can write. Yeah.

Speaker 2:14:40Which has the advantage of a three ring binder over a spirals that the paper is removable, obviously. Yes. Uh, can openers, you don’t do a lot of can opening the can openers tend to be for right handers. Yeah. And normally what happens is the way the can openers work is you hold the can opener in your left hand, you clip it onto the can and then you crank the little knob with your right hand to spin it around and open the can. Well, if you have to do that, holding it with your right hand, then you’re crossing your arm over to turn it on. I have to imagine it’s really infuriating, Eh, the number pad on the keyboard is always on the right.

Speaker 3:15:21Well I’ve never really used that and I technically it was both my hands to type and I’ve never really used the other number pad or just here’s the numbers that are on top of the original keyboard with all them letters and such.

Speaker 2:15:40Right. Man. And I can see as you get older and move into the higher grades, this becomes more of an issue because you’re doing calculations pretty quickly with um, the key pass pressure. You do any kind of accounting or anything?

Speaker 3:15:56Yeah, the world was, as soon as there’s so many right handers, it seems like the world was made for right handers and then the one who’s left hand, it has to go through the difficulties. I mean, they do make lefthand, they make stuff for left handers, but you still go through difficulties.

Speaker 2:16:16I agree. And the problem is when it’s made for lefthanders, it’s a smaller audience of consumers and as a result your prices go up. Um, but specifically speaking to the keyboard incident here, uh, I know for a fact there are keyboards out there that are modular keyboards. Um, that, uh, one, it happens to be a gaming keyboard from a company called Mad Catz where the numeric keypad actually detaches from the keyboard and can be moved over and put on the other side. Um, which is Kinda neat, but it doesn’t change the order, which the numbers are. So the numbers are still in the same order. Um, but yeah, I mean that’s, that’s some of the challenges. I’m sure there’s a lot more that you face and we can probably talk about those at another time.

Speaker 4:17:11Okay.

Speaker 2:17:11Oh, the next thing that we had was a, a study that was repaired by a group of psychologist. This was posted on a website called fast company. And this explains how lefthanded people work differently. And we’ve talked about some of these in the past. Yeah. Um, the first thing on the list is they’re used to putting up with challenges and that’s kind of what you said is that, well, you’re kinda used to being lefthanded and, and things being difficult. Yeah. Um, and what they suggest in this study is that because of that constant inconvenience of being lefthanded, that lefthanded people are much more capable of putting up with challenges as a result. That, do you think that there’s any validity in that?

Speaker 3:18:02I think that that could possibly be true because along with that, I have been trying to go through school as best I can and putting up with problems hasn’t really been that hard for me.

Speaker 2:18:20Good. And hopefully it will serve you later in life and make it easier later in life. Um, the other thing they found was that lefthanders follow creative intuition. And, and by that they mean whenever you do something we’re going, whenever you’re problem solving or you have a project to do, um, you approach it with a creative mindset where you’re much more imaginative, um, rather than just a systematic go in and solve a problem type thing. I think this yields great results in your creative writing where instead of having a paragraph or two, you’ve got three pages, what do you think?

Speaker 3:19:02Yeah, would actually tend to agree? Because when we got, when we had gone to another assignment, I already had ideas in my head taking of having it like we were, so we’re doing an assignment about a field trip gone wrong and IOD had a few ideas. Like it would be at the point of view of a student and that would come up with names and he would have friends and then like something would happen and they would go on a new road.

Speaker 2:19:29And that’s the thing, you know, I think the wonderful thing I see with you is whenever you have an assignment that’s a creative assignment, not only are you exceedingly capable of doing it, you’re enthusiastic about it. And I think that’s awesome. And combining that with your aptitude for math I think is a large portion of why you do so well in school. You have the creative side, you have the mathematical side, and you combine those two, you’ll make a great architect someday. I think with those two talents, they also say that the lefthanders process information quicker. So as you’re given assignments at school, you’re capable of handling that stuff much faster, asking fewer questions of the teacher, getting something you might not necessarily understand and figuring it out relatively quickly. Do you find that’s the case with you?

Speaker 3:20:25Yes. I tend to rarely ask questions because I can understand quickly.

Speaker 2:20:33And I think that um, attribute lends itself to this final one finding that was in the study that lefthanders tend to be more independent. So you work better independently. Um, you don’t necessarily need to have a team environment. You don’t need to depend on other people to contribute to your success. Uh, and I think that largely describes a lot of how you operate, doesn’t it?

Speaker 3:20:59Yes. That would describe me and many ways.

Speaker 2:21:02And, and that’s sort of how you prefer to do some of your assignments too, isn’t it?

Speaker 3:21:06Yes. That’s how I would prefer to do my assignments even though I have to work alone or with other people, but I would prefer to work independently.

Speaker 2:21:17Right, right. And I think we just have to be careful that because that certainly could lead to conflict and difficulty later on working independently as great. But the ability to work within a team is also a good attribute that we have to work on as well. So that brings us to our fun facts about lefthanders. Um, this little survey or study came from a, a website called media planet and they just went and looked at certain numbers and certain interesting little trades it lefthanders had. The first one that they said was that lefthanded people score higher when it comes to creativity, imagination, daydreaming, and intuition. They’re also better at rhythm and visualization. So, and this is, you know, supportive of what we’ve talked about already today is that you’re very creative. Do you find that you daydream a lot?

Speaker 3:22:16Yes. I actually, whenever I listen to a song that I know, I would actually pictured my head with characters from TV shows I watched and I will just have a little adventure while doing the song. For some reason. I also tend to have a huge imagination where once again, TV show characters would come to life even though I know they’re not there. But I would always like, I would always tend to see them.

Speaker 2:22:50And that’s the one thing that I’ve noticed watching you play with toys or even when you tell a story, you don’t just recount actions in the story. You’re very vibrant and how you describe the setting and the people and the emotions. And you know, when you tell a story, like if, you know, you’re telling me a story in the car or something like that, it’s like you’re narrating a book where you describe your setting and everything. Uh, and it’s very different than most kids your age where most kids your age, we’ll just say, you know, Susie ran down the street, whereas, you know, I get to hear what kind of houses it was. What did Susie look like? How old was she? What was she wearing? You know, were there cars on the street? So it’s, it’s a much richer experience when you tell a story most of the time.

Speaker 3:23:36Yeah. I can actually already imagine it now. Susie would be running down the street. She was dodging and Ducky cars. Eventually she moved on to the sidewalk where they were a whole heap of houses all next to each other and eventually she’d stop and run into one of the houses.

Speaker 2:23:55Exactly. And it was a lot more than just who’s he ran down the street. They go on to say that left handed. People are believed to be good at complex reasoning. I don’t know how many instances you’ve been put in a situation where you have to do complex reasoning. Um, what are your thoughts on that?

Speaker 3:24:13Well, can I have a little example of what complex Riesling is? Cause I really don’t know what that is but I might have done it before but I probably didn’t know what it was.

Speaker 2:24:23Well, the only thing that I could think of is, is a mathematical equation. You know these compound a written out math problems that you tend to get like a in paragraph form. You know Joe goes down to the grocery store with $20 and he needs to buy apples and the apples are 50 cents each but he also needs to by parents and the parents are 25 cents each. How many apples and pears can Joe by and you can take all those variables, mash them together and come up with a reasonable answer. Now that I’m sure that questions, not a valid question, but that type of complex reasoning where it’s not just a plus B equals c you have other factors that you have to consider in order to get the answer that you’re looking for.

Speaker 3:25:08Well I would tend to agree. I’m good at those. I always make sure I, we read certain things I don’t understand about it. And then I always make sure to do all the parts I need to do.

Speaker 2:25:20And I think that’s important. Is, is you know, a thoroughly understanding lefthanders are believed to hold a sporting advantage in tennis, baseball and boxing. I’m guessing you don’t box a lot.

Speaker 3:25:34No.

Speaker 2:25:35Do you play tennis at all?

Speaker 3:25:37Well I do. Normally I’ve done the video games but I’ve also heard that um, um, athlete to play tennis, that who I loved hand and have an advantage

Speaker 2:25:50and they, they indeed do. What about baseball? Do you like baseball?

Speaker 3:25:55Well, I’ve done things similar to baseball. I haven’t really been too much into it, but I definitely would do it if I needed to for Jim and such and baseball. I would actually prefer doing it over soccer or kickball.

Speaker 2:26:17We already know your, your love of kickball. So that question itself actually lends us back to the first thing we talked about with our famous people with Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth was a famous baseball player, probably the most famous baseball player really, who pleads several positions for different teams. And the last fun fact that we have here, and this is a good one, definitely a good one. Left handed college graduates go on to become 26% richer than right hand it graduates. What do you think of that?

Speaker 3:26:54Well that’s pretty impressive. I actually never knew that could happen to anyone who was lefthanded.

Speaker 2:27:03I think that comes from that a higher intelligence and creativity allows you to be much more um, profitable in business. Um, I also think having examples I can record in there who were exceptionally rich tend to bring that average up as well. Um, one last fact that, uh, I did have that was not in this particular survey was that six of the last 12 presidents were lefthanded. Really? That is correct. And that’s, you know, when you look at it from a just very basic statistical analysis that’s like art. So 50%, well, you know, half the people were half the people weren’t what significant. Well, the significant thing is when you apply the known fact that only 10% of the population is lefthanded, statistically speaking, only one of those 12 should have been lefthanded instead. Half of them were wow. Impressive. That is impressive. So the takeaway from this is that you can be 26% richer and precedent because your left hand. Wow.

Speaker 4:28:17Okay.

Speaker 2:28:18So that was a, that was all I had on the agenda for discussion. Um, did you have any closing words for us?

Speaker 3:28:25Well, yes to anyone who was lefthanded. I know you may face difficulties, but I support anyone who still need, still has these problems, but I’m sure as you get older you’ll tend to not sink of those difficulties as much. And I would say to look on the positive side of being lefthanded use you creativity as I have and enjoy being a left handed person and being one of the 10% of people who are left handed in the world.

Speaker 2:29:01That is awesome advice. Um, uh, I’d like to close by inviting folks to, um, give us some feedback. We have our website up. Now, if you go to, you can see all the shows that we produce. A, if you want to go just to this podcast, you can go to podcast on insights into Uh, you’re also welcome to comment on the site or shoot us an email at comments, at insights into if you have questions, comments, feedback, uh, or if there’s any topics you’d us to cover on the podcast. We would love to hear from anyone who’s interested in make sure to check us out on youtube as well by looking up inside telesales. Yes, we are up on youtube now with the video versions of all the podcasts. Uh, that’s going to do it for our podcast this week. Thank you for your time, Madison. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate you sitting with us today even though you don’t feel so well. Uh, we’ll be back next week with another podcast and hopefully you’ll be feeling better by then. Probably I will. Okay. All right. Goodbye everyone. Goodbye.