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AlbertJayNock

Left Vs. Right (the positions, not the political factions)

I think I might be mildly dyslexic. I have been teaching about AVL trees in my data structures class, and this involves a lot of distinguishing between left and right. I do know the difference, but sometimes I will say "left" when I mean to say "right" ,or vice versa.

I've had this problem for a while. I couldn't tell left from right at all until I was in the fourth grade. How I finally learned makes for an interesting story. One day I was reading a book on carnivorous plants, and it  mentioned that a certain part of the venus fly trap was on its left side.There was a drawing of a venus fly trap on the opposite page, and I realized that I had an opportunity to get this left/right thing straight once and for all. I studied the drawing carefully, and after that I could tell left from right, even though I occasionally misspoke about them.

I learned about "port" and "starboard" in a similar way. I have not spent much time on boats, and never had an occasion to need those terms.
I picked it up from reading some political commentary about some leftist political figure who was described as "listing port". I  deduced from this that port was the left side of the boat, and starboard must be right.  And oddly enough, I have less trouble with these terms than I do with "left" and "right'. I have never said one when I mean the other.

Not that I use them that much. Although sometimes  when I mix  up left and right in the class room, I'll correct myself with something like "I meant right...you know, starboard".

I hope everyone has enjoyed this peek inside the impenetrable jungle which is my brain.

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