Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fortunately I'm an Ambi-turner...

Anyone watch Zoolander? Ben's character is not an ambi-turner. Anyhow, I am. I did a little wiki search on ambidexterity and came up with an awful discouraging article about how ambidextrous people are dain bramaged ;) in development - essentially it proposes that the process of choosing handedness damages the child if pushed prematurely.


Ah hell with em! Besides, I'm not truly ambidextrous in many if not most aspects (I can switch but it gives me a headache to). I am lefty about many typical things associated with that dominant hemisphere (writing, geometric problems verses algebraic ones, etc), and I'm a righty about most others related to functioning in a righty dominated world (baseball - I'll get clocked if I try to bat lefty, can't use those lefty scissors without risking cutting off a finger, etc). Sattler proposes that the right-dominant society has messed with my head, or that I was just a righty waiting to come through later (at least by puberty) however. (hmmm.. Perhaps I shouldn't disclose all of this. Perhaps I'm more brain damaged than most lefties.) ;) Bottom line is that when I was a kid in school learning to write letters I actaully was told by the teacher that I could not switch hands when I got tired (I know, WTF?!). Anyhow, so my siblings encouraged me to stick with the left hand since "it's cooler". Thus how I became a semi-ambi-primarily-lefty. I've been just fine, thank you Dr. Sattler since the Cheese Wiz incident (old Night Court fans? no? right.. I'm so outdated ...). ;) Sincerely tho, you should read that paper (link again) - while some of the highlights of the papers come across as fairly Hitleresque there are some interesting points in it.
"This also explains why during the period of time in which the cerebral hemispheric dominance normally begins to manifest itself through hand preference, the correct handedness of many children cannot be reliably determined and how then the correct handedness of these children may be unintentionally converted. Based on the experiences of real case studies, children, who have suffered cerebral damage and who have difficulty in school, may experience a gradual reduction in the resulting impairments until the age of puberty is reached. At this time, the early disabilities are compensated for, often disappear completely, or only surface in the form of unexpectedly flipping letters or numbers when writing quickly."
I've done that once. I was writing on a white board and was confronted rather rudely by a superior who was essentially challenging the data given to me by his PhD colleagues. I definitely wasn't qualified, however, to contradict him, despite that his statement essentially was saying my presentation was worthless. The next few letters I wrote down were flipped. It was kinda fascinating/horrifying to me. Spacial relationships to lefties however are very conceptual tho, so the shape in different orientations or reversed isn't always new.

But hell, don't we all feel a little brain damaged at times when we don't "see" what everyone else is seeing. (or feel special when see something we feel like no one else notices) ;)

Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that if I'd been left alone by my early teacher there that I would've gone on to be more right handed. As I've said, there's a LOT I can not do so well with my left hand, especially once I've learned to do it with my right. The ability to do so, however, with either hand when doing a very new task doesn't really seem like brain damage. Rather it's a somewhat beneficial "state of mind" to be so flexible to learn to hold, say, riding crops in either hand or driving reins in one or the other.. Having the option to choose sides doesn't feel "detrimental", it feels more symmetrical. I wish to hell I could switch hands/sides when pitching manure (I tend to have no aim and it's so messy as to be pointless, throwing poop towards the water buckets instead of the wheelbarrow ya know.. So I fail the ambi-tosser test there and as a result I'm just developing a Popeye arm on one side). ;)

Oh, so the point of all that babble/introspection? I sculpt primarily with my right hand for details, I draw and paint primarily with my left. So with a maimed right hand this past week, I've been giving it a rest from sculpting & have been playing a tad in the painting studio where I can just use my left for the most part. Ta da! I had a point here.. really. :)

One pic for fun too.. This is a base coat and probably the most interesting of the work I've done of late (the rest have been small fine layer updates in oils). Mind you that's acrylics and I plan to completely change the shade. I'm thinking a very light dun or very sandy bay.

Strange but true.

Moral: Parents, don't force your kids to write with one hand or another I guess.

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