There's something that I really need to get off my chest - and I think that it needs to be said - out loud - so I'm just going to say it.
BOB and I have a problem with Right-Handed teachers who WILL NOT help Left-Handed students.
There, I said it.
We apparently are not deemed worthy of their expertise. We are expected to do it Right-Handed or "just reverse it" with no help whatsoever from them.
Now you can call me a hater/bully and tell me what a bad person I am in the comment section below.
As most of you know - if you've been following along lately - I'm trying to learn how to Free-Motion Quilt on my home/domestic sewing machine. Having said that - I must admit that I have tried - unsuccessfully - MANY times - and have MANY books on the subject. I say BOOKS - because I am not one to take "classes".
Several years ago - I took a hand-applique "class" and had a problem stitching a curved leaf. The teacher had explained to the class how to start at the bottom of the leaf and go up the right side/outside curve of the leaf and had told us to stop at the top of the leaf. Then she would explain how to stitch the left side/inside curve. I - being Left-Handed - started at the bottom of the leaf and went up the left side/inside curve of the leaf and realized that she hadn't shown us how to do that yet. When I took it to the teacher and showed her my problem - she said, "Oh, you are Left-Handed, I cannot help you." BOB thought - "Gee, thanks, lady - I paid for the class and you CANNOT help me?!?!?" I sucked it up and said, "That's OK - I'll figure it out on my own - show me how you do your colors." - but it was NOT OK.
My Left-Handed sister-in-law tells the story of being in a class with three lefties - she said -
There are plenty of left handed quilters out there (supposedly one in ten) and we always need help with quilting challenges. In my class this summer, there were three lefties in our group of ten. We all just had to quietly sit there trying to translate how to execute the cutting and sewing of each block in our "backwards" brains. There was really no sense asking questions of our "right-handed" teacher; because unless you are left handed, you just don't get the questions. It's like speaking a foreign language!I have a Left-Handed quilting friend who took a "quilting" cruise - and who was assured that her left-handedness would not be a problem. She paid extra for a variety of class-related stuff and it cost her a considerable amount of money. When it came time for the teacher to reach her "table" - she asked her how to do the technique Left-Handed. The teacher pointed to another Left-Handed quilter at the same table - and told her to do it like she did it. Excuse me - but my friend did NOT pay big bucks to be taught by another leftie who happened to be sitting at the same table. She paid the TEACHER to TEACH her!
So - like I said - I'm not one to take "classes". However, I did sign up for some Craftsy "classes" on Free-Motion Quilting - and you can probably guess where I'm going with this.
One of my Craftsy "classes" - taught by a Right-Handed teacher - who shall remain nameless - came to the part where she was showing the class/audience how to pin-baste a quilt. She said that -
I always put the fold in my right hand - and I have a lot of students ask, "Well, what if I'm Left-Handed." I don't care. It goes in the right hand. It doesn't matter.I have gotten in trouble before for not keeping my mouth shut - and I have been called a bully - and other names not fit to print - by some who thought that I was being negative when I talked about stuff. And I know that I tend to be very direct in what I say and how I say it - and I have a considerable amount of trouble with how to say something without ticking everyone off - but others have been praised for "keeping it real" when they post about their upcoming colonoscopies - so this is my version of "keeping it real".
So now - just for fun - let's reverse the "pin basting" scenario above - let's say I'm teaching the class and came to the part where I was showing the class/audience how to pin-baste a quilt and I say that -
I always put the fold in my left hand - and I have a lot of students ask, "Well, what if I'm Right-Handed." I don't care. It goes in the left hand. It doesn't matter.How would you react??
Would you - like my sister-in-law and her friends - sit there quietly trying to translate what I said in YOUR backwards brain?
Or would you call me on it - and say -
It DOES matter to the student who asked the question or he/she wouldn't have asked it!!!
I certainly don't speak for all Left-Handed Quilters - I even had one tell me - "I have never let my being Left-Handed keep me from learning anything that I wanted to learn." Well - me neither - BUT I still have to compensate for it when I am reading a book or taking a class from a Right-Handed teacher. It's BACKWARDS and I am expected to "just reverse it" - and sometimes it's not that easy.
And to make matters worse - some things that Right-Handed people think need to be reversed - DON'T. I do a lot of things Right-Handed and can mentally reverse many others if I need to. BUT there are times when a Left-Handed quilter needs help and will ask a question.
Some Right-Handed teachers CAN and DO help Left-Handed students - and I love them dearly. That's the way it SHOULD be.
Some Right-Handed teachers some simply CANNOT - and I understand that. It's not always easy - and some things are more difficult than others. Cutting a 60-degree diamond shape Left-Handed is a little tricky.
But it's the Right-Handed teachers who simply WILL NOT help Left-Handed students - that I DO NOT understand.
It is NOT OK to dismiss a question posed by a Left-Handed Quilter simply because you cannot be bothered to figure out how to REVERSE it for them. It is YOUR job to teach ALL of your students - not just the Right-Handed ones.
It is NOT OK to say "I don't care." That student paid for your class the same as everyone else and to say that you "don't care" is simply unacceptable.
So after BOB calmed down and watched the rest of the class trying to learn all that the teacher had to teach - she posted a "question" on the lesson. I tried to choose my words carefully so as to not offend her and then wondered why I had to be careful not to offend her when she obviously didn't care that she had offended me - but anyway - I said -
Hi (insert teacher's name here) - With all due respect, you might suggest to your Left-Handed students that they fold the backing and put the fold in their LEFT hand - then line up the corner of the fold with the CENTER safety pin and eyeball it with the safety pin to the RIGHT of the table. That might sound a bit better than, "I don't care. It goes in the RIGHT hand. It doesn't matter." It DOES matter to the student who asked the question.Now I have not yet received a "reply" - and I fully expect to have my head handed to me by her and everyone else who thinks I'm being "negative". But you know what? Here's where "I" don't care.
And just for the record -
One time I did keep my mouth shut - I ran across some FMQ designs that were drawn from right to left and supposed to be "Left-Handed". I wanted so much to tell the designer that FMQ is like handwriting and English is written from left to right - and that those designs aren't Left-Handed at all - they're Hebrew and/or Arabic - but I couldn't figure out a nice way to say it - so I just "let it go". I laughingly made reference to it in a blog post - but never did tell the designer - because I know that he/she was trying to be helpful - not realizing that it's one of those things that doesn't need to be reversed. Someday someone will clue him/her in - but it isn't going to be today - and it isn't going to be me.
This time is different.
It was something that I really needed to get off my chest -
And I think that it needed to be said -
Out loud -
So I said it.
And now you can call me a hater/bully and tell me what a bad person I am in the comment section below.
Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -
EDIT UPDATE - The teacher's response was - "Thank you for letting me know!;)"
I'll give her credit for being gracious and not biting my head off. I truly believe that she did not realize how she sounded and that next time she might not be so flippant in her handling of a question from a Left-Handed quilter. Mission accomplished - ;))
EDIT UPDATE #2 - I like to reply to all comments left on my blog - but some of you come up as "no-reply". I have no idea how to get to your email on Google+ so please come back later to check your comment and my response. Thank you.