Saturday, August 20, 2011

Left Handed Thais

On my fourth day proctoring tests the lefties finally showed up. There were four out of eighteen in my row that were left-handed. For the first three days there had been almost none. Of course I have a theory.

I have long noted that left-handedness is much more prevalent in Thailand than it is in America. I had a high school English class in which fourteen out of forty-eight students were left-handed, and any class that I remember from elementary or high school could boast between five and ten from a similar number. That’s over ten percent, and it seems like a lot.

My hunch is that being in some small way naturally different is not as big a deal in Thailand. If someone is born left-handed, or homosexual for that matter, well, that’s the way they are and Thai people tend to accept it. Neither thing is seen as particularly undesirable, nor are they seen as things that require pressure in modification (the phenomenon known as “forced right-handedness,” or what could be referred to as “Marcus Bachmann Syndrome.”)

I have proctored tests at my university more than ten times, for between five and ten days each time, and this is the first time that I have noticed anything other than a superfluity of lefties. Why? I wonder. This is a period of “re-testing,” at my university, a student who fails a final gets a second bite a the apple. So everybody taking the tests this week had failed the first time around, and they were a more right-handed bunch than is typical in Thailand. Maybe, as left-handed people have suspected all along, lefties are just smarter than the rest of us.

(For the record, I am right-handed, and no coercion was involved.)

4 comments:

Cletis L. Stump said...

I am left-handed.

fred c said...

So is my father. I hope that you are more modest than he is about it. He takes it as one more sign of his great superiority.

Cletis L. Stump said...

Fred, I can honestly say I never felt superior in my life. Sorry about your Dad.

fred c said...

My new perspective on my dad, now that he's ninety, is that I think it's just great that he's so weirdly, wildly self-confident. He's completely satisfied and quite impressed with himself and his accomplishments. There was a time, oh yeah, but now? I'm just happy for him.