Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Left Out

"Billy, can you come up to my desk please?" asked Mrs. Tewksbury, my third grade hand writing teacher. She held up a mint green, triple blue-lined, news print writing paper with the letters BILLY M clearly written across the top.

I don't remember the specifics of the actual conversation but she said she wanted to use my paper as an example. I remember smiling, feeling proud that she was going to use my work to give the class a lesson on this new cursive writing we were learning. I was quite happy. I stood next to her as she held up my paper and asked for the class' attention.

"This" she said shaking the paper above her head "is an example of a messy paper."

I was horrified.

She took the three pronged wire thingamabob that held three pieces of chalk at the end and in a quick motion drew three even lines across the chalkboard. She then asked me to write the few letters we were learning in the space she just made. I picked up a single piece of chalk in my left hand and wrote on the board. As I moved, left to right, across the board I tried my best to perfect the various loops required in cursive, only to realize that my sleeve of my left arm had wiped away what I had just written.

I looked at my paper and saw that it was completely smudged. I looked at my left hand to see my left pinkie and outer palm edge were black with graphite.

The curse of a left hand-er.

Mrs. Tewksbury then took the opportunity to tell the class why it was important that Lefties either angle their paper or bend (contort) their arm to prevent smudges. She then gave a quick history lesson about how a long time ago, like in the 1950's, left handed people were considered evil. She explained that left handed people were required to write with their right hand and how that was better for teachers.

I felt the eyes of all the students watching me waiting to see if I had horns on my head. For the rest of the day I was excluded, left out, from the rest of days regular activities. Kids kept their distance at lunch. I was not picked up on a kickball team at recess. It was bad day.

I remember going home and telling my mom that my writing teacher thought I was evil. I was worried that other kids would not play with me. I was worried that maybe I would be left out of other school activities all the time. My mom told me not to worry. She said I couldn't be evil because she loved me and she would not love an evil person. My mom made me feel better.

It was at this point in my life that my older brothers and sister, thanks to the movie The Omen, learned that triple sixes were the sign of the devil. I was born at 6 in the morning on June 6. I was also the 6th child. They made sure they pointed this out to me on a regular basis. This of course again made me think I was evil.

My older brothers also claimed that Rocky, our mailman, was the Devil, which made sense, since they also told me he was my real father.


GoodNites is having a great contest over at their site. They are asking people to write the next chapters of their incredibly awesome audio series Iggy and his Wiggy Bed. The winner will receive a $2,500 adventure package. I think that means vacation. Go and listen to the story and take a crack at writing the next chapter.

Go here to find more details and to enter the next chapter contest. Please enter. I get to be one of the judges and I am looking forward to seeing some of your entries.

GoodNites has other features on their site that parents may want to check out. They have their Bedwetting experts(which I think it is awesome that they call themselves that) and their Support Area for parents.

GoodNites has offered me the opportunity to give away a pretty cool prize pack to one of my readers. Go to this post to see a picture. The prize pack is valued at $175.00 which includes a 2GB Ipod shuffle, Logitech speakers, an Itunes gift card and a cuddle blanket.

For a chance to win this prize pack from Poop and Boogies and GoodNites, leave me a comment about any time ever felt left out, or singled out. I will announce the winner in a few weeks.

Check out these other bloggers who are also having this same contest.

The winner from my last Bedtime Theater post is Mary AKA Tattoo Mary.


Disclaimer--I have partnered with GoodNites® Sleep Pants for the Bedtime Theater program. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes developing the Iggy’s Next Adventure story, sharing the program information with my readers, tweeting my blog entry and judging the Iggy’s Next Adventure contest entries. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards the GoodNites® products.”


James said...

I can't wait to see the creative ways my kids torment each other...

Anonymous said...

Wow. I wonder how many other kids that teacher tore down. Just goes to prove that it takes a special kind of person to be a good teacher.

I'm a lefty too, and we're AWESOME!

May the good Lord protect any person who does that to my kids. I'm not as sweet of a person as your mom is.

Claire said...

I was once booed off stage at a 4-H talent show. I have never been able to listen to "God Bless the USA" in the same way.

Anonymous said...

was your teacher the one who did the "blue eyes brown eyes" experiment, too?

Anonymous said...

Remember, William, your Granfather was left-handed. He was the smartest and most talented man I ever knew. Your Dad was also left-handed, the second smartest man I knew. No one comes near either of them. Your kids some day may say the same about you. I love you. You were conceived with the head of the bed facing South. The "others" were conceived with the head of the bed facing North. I always thought that had something to do with you being the only left-hander:) You have great talent and are smart. Your kids are lucky!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness awful memories. I was the good girl coming up and I imagine parents must have asked their kids why can't you be like her, because I was left out of that particular group.

Jill said...

When I was growing up all of my cousins went to NYC with my aunts but I didn't get to go because I was "too young." I was so upset for being left out. Being the youngest is not always a good thing!

Anonymous said...

Mom09 is the best.

Mami2jcn said...

I felt left out a lot growing up, because I was considered a nerd or bookworm. I got teased for having braces and for my clothes clashing. ;-) Kids can be cruel.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Tori Spelling said...

I have this group of guy friends who get together every so often and never invite me! I mean, I know I'm a girl and all, but still, I mean, what are they talking about that I can't hear? And in high school, they were this exclusive little group with a silly name and silly activities (some type of spinning around with a beer bottle in the middle...) and great, now that they are still friends 20-something years later, they STILL don't invite me. I mean, what do you have to do to bust into this little group? I mean, I made out with most of them at one point or another in high school; you'd think 20 years later that would merit an invite.
I KNOW they're thinking they're so manly meeting in their manly group, but you know, I bet they are just talking about Project Runway, since I know at least one of them is totally devoted to the show.
I feel sooooo left out, William.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

I can relate to being singled out as a child. I have Marcus Gunn Jaw Winking syndrome, and as a child I was often stared at and laughed at- especially when I ate, because MGJWS makes my eyelid go up and down when I chew. Kids can be cruel, but by the time I was in Jr. High I realized that they could only bother me as much as I let them, so I turned their attention into a positive thing and it became quite the party trick. :o)

Bethany said...

I felt left out in cooking class at the tender age of 10. I took cooking class in the summer with my other chubby cousin. We were no good at sports, but God forbid we get to just stay home and not interact with our peers. Well, one day at cooking class, we made Waldorf salad. Waldorf salad has copious amounts of mayonnaise in it. I had already told the teacher right up front that I LOATHED mayonnaise. The rule in class was that we had to at least TRY whatever we made. I dreaded Waldorf salad day, but alas, it came. The teacher told me I had to eat one bite. I was a good kid, and always followed the rules. I held my nose and took a bite. It made me gag. I then ran covering my mouth to the hallway and grabbed the trashcan on the way out. I was sick in the hall, and my teacher came out to check on me. I asked if she could go call my mom, but she made me come back to class. All the other kids laughed and made gagging sounds at me. I wasn't too popular that day. But luckily, my culinary prowess eventually wooed back my friends, and all was well. I still cringe, 20 years later, when I hear the words "Waldorf Salad."


sari said...

I'm a paper angler, myself. It's nice because not only do I not get left handed ink smear, I don't have that weird contorted wrist most lefties have. ;-)

I wouldn't trade being a leftie for anything, and am severely disappointed none of my boys are lefties too.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but Mrs Tewksbury was hot. Mean as a snake but very easy on the eyes.

Cathy said...

I love being a lefty, but it definitely gave my sister lots of fodder for torment. I can still remember her pointing and shouting "spawn of SATAN!" whenever I had to pull out the left-handed can opener.

I'm also the only one in the family with brown eyes instead of green. Or, as my lovely sister calls them: "poop-colored eyes."


Bogart said...

I might have poked that teacher in the eye with that line drawing tool...

Sue said...

My obsession with Disney world comes from feeling left out. My next door neighbors had a tupperware mom. She wasn't made of tuperware she sold it. Alot of it and got to go to Florida and WDW every year. On the other side of our house they always went on vacation. We went no where. We got postcards from all the neighbors and my dad took a week off work and we went to the local zoo with my dad. Whoopie. I totally felt left out.

BTW- I think there is a bit of the devil in you. We better track down that mailman. But you are clearly not evil.

MrsDoF said...

When I was in First Grade, the teacher smacked my left hand with a metal ruler, for doing what comes naturally. I still have the scar.
My mother marched down to the principal's office and told him that wasn't right, me not being able to write left-handed.
She said I had always been a leftie, that when she put me in the high chair when I was a baby, I reached for the toy with my left hand.
The teacher didn't quite know what to do with the 3 of us in the room who were lefties.
I remember being way in the back row, giving each other hints about how to write and cope. We lefties were good friends all through First Grade year.
I angle the paper cuz me mum taught me about cursive writing at home. She would not let me bend the wrist.
I also crochet left-handed.
I have to do the ironing with my right hand. The cord is all wrong the other way.

BKP said...

Two stories come to mind...
1-First time I swore at age of 8 in front of my parents. My sister got to go to Dairy Queen with the neighbors and I wasn't invited. Sitting in my dad's lap, crying, I said, "Damn her," and I got launched across the kitchen & promptly sent to my room. It was awhile before I swore in front of them again. But it was DQ?!! Damn her.

2-Teacher story. True story. In 4th grade, our teacher slapped a naughty girl on her face about three times, in front of the class, enough for her face to be red and her to cry. I knew it was wrong, and at recess found the principal and told on the teacher... begging him not to let her know I told. The next day, there was a new seating chart and me and the girl were in a "new row" separated from the class by about five feet and the rest of the class wouldn't talk to me. Then I had to write a 500 word apology letter to the teacher. I hope she (the teacher) has had some time burning in hell... not that I'm bitter or anything about that one.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

This story made me so sad... I have a left-handed Billy, and I can't imagine how off-the-handle mad I would be if a teacher (or any other adult) treated him that way.
And yes, the head of our bed was facing south. Your mom is awesome.