In a way, you can say Jason Midkiff has succumbed to the discrimination of being a left-hander in a right-handed world.
During his formative years, the Greenville superintendent remembered getting scissors for a left-handed person. And invariably, those were green-rimmed scissors. These days, Midkiff sports a traditional pair of right-handed scissors in his desk.
Midkiff, like other left-handers, continues to acclimate himself on a daily basis. But that does not mean those differences between the two groups goes unnoticed. “You get to brag about successful people that are left-handed,” he said. “When you are not being discriminated against, there is some enjoyment. But obviously, we are not truly discriminated against. There are small things, like the way you hold a pen. You can’t see what the writing is on the pen. It’s little stuff like that. But you get used to it.”
Those little differences were apparent at an early age and went beyond green-rimmed scissors. Midkiff recalls acclimating to spiral notebooks, which are designed for right-handed people, but rarely thought about in that respect.
“You can find a left-handed notebook every once in a while, but they are hard to come by,” he said.
Growing up presented a new set of challenges. Those five-speed standards are a different animal to tackle altogether when you are left-handed. And it would probably be handy if those radios were more conducive for a lefty. But in exposure to the right-handed world, Midkiff was able to develop skills that are familiar stories for other left-handers.
“I am pretty ambidextrous, I golf and shoot right-handed and I am dominant right-eyed,” he said. “My grandmother was left-handed, and they made her right-handed in school.”
Midkiff’s educational career includes a stint as a girls basketball coach at Marietta and assistant coach at Healdton. And there were challenges in teaching skills to his athletes.
“It’s always backwards,” he said. “Anytime something is getting mirrored, it’s opposite, whether it’s where you step or the angles. When you see things, it’s usually from the right angle.”
For Midkiff, there is a respite in coaching in the game of life when it comes to his foster daughter, who is also left-handed.
“As far as her writing, it makes it easier to see and teach her,” he said.
But there are things she will have to learn on her own. The same things Midkiff sees on a day-to-day basis.
“There are coffeepots and when you pour the water in, you have to pour it in the right side,” he said. “And if you slide your card and have to sign something, it’s always angled. I think we are the most discriminated group.”