Friday, March 18, 2011

The Button

If it's Thursday it must be Stellarton. And it was. We were in the gym of the local college waiting for people with disabilities to arrive to take my 'Dealing With Teasing and Bullying' workshop. They were a great bunch. Most of them have clearly had experience with self advocacy and all of them knew about their rights. I knew then, that this would be fun and lively. They had the basics, we could leap in to the meat of the matter.

I use a lot of role plays and I had a young fellow come up, as he had identified himself as someone who loved using the computer, to do an Internet bullying role play. He typed frantically away on an imaginary laptop as I made jokes about how my laptop was so portable. When he experienced, through roll play, a bully on line, the group problem solved what he should do. They had several ideas but then someone called out, he should just delete it all. The others chimed in, a computer savvy group. 'Delete it, Delete it.'

Later one woman asked, after a roll play about bullying on the street, 'After it's all over how do you stop thinking about it all the time in your head.' The others agreed, the bullying just keeps going. They looked at me expectantly. I'm supposed to have an answer and, after a pause, I did.

'OK,' I said, 'I'm going to teach you a really big secret.' My voice full of a whispery kind of anticipation. They leaned forward. I love teaching these guys. I took my finger and said look what I'm doing. I put my right forefinger at the start of my eyebrow. I then traced my eyebrow over to where it begins to arch down.. 'Find this spot,' I instructed them. They all did. Each and every one. They were intrigued. 'This,' I said and paused saying again that this was a big secret, 'is your personal delete button.' I pushed and shouted, 'DE-lete.' The room erupted in laughter.

We agreed that giving someone the middle finger is just rude and aggressive, but using the delete finger to push the delete button, was something that they could do discretely. We did roll plays with the room hollering 'DE-lete' and laughing. It was fun.

I think it might even be practical. I know that I need to 'delete' some bad experiences or they simply stay with me. It's just that now I know where the button is and I have the power to push it when I need to.

This is the reason I teach, I learn.



Anonymous said...

I like that.


Clay said...

The basic lesson is true enough, but it stopped being fun for me when you mispronounced "delete". The first "e" should be short, not long, and the accent should be on the second syllable. [Dih -leet].

Hey, I'm being serious here.


Shari Armstrong said...

OMG!! something so simple!! I work with a man who has great difficulty letting any type of negativity go. We have seen BCT's doctors, counseling, and to be quite truthful I am getting very frustrated. I am certainly going to give this idea a try!! I will write back to let you know if he has success.
Shari, Community Living Parry Sound.

Jeannette said...

Clay, I think the mispronunciation is part of the effectiveness.
It's fun.
It's silly.
And it says to the brain, "The one in control here is me. Not the bully, not even the dictionary, and I can choose to DEE-lete!"

Sometimes the strongest weapon is humor.

NoisyWorld said...

So we're not allowed to deee-lete the bully then? :( lol (I'm imagining it being said in much the same way as Daleks say Exterminate! Is this right?!)
Any chance of a picture showing me exactly where my delete button is, it would be a great help! I have had to learn that people being loud is not a personal attack: I'm getting there :)
I don't 'look' disabled so haven't had out-right bullying...yet! More often it's people not believing me- not as painful but quite irritating none the less :/

Anonymous said...

The wheeliecrone says -

Oh! THAT button! I have been wondering what that button was for! How very useful.

Kristin said...

I love the idea of your own personal delete button. I may have to use it.

Ceeej said...

This is fabulous. I am so excited that you shared this secret with the world.

I've been lurking on your blog for awhile - not even sure what brought me here - but your words & experience are very important.

You are educating the world, sometimes one at a time, sometimes handfuls. But every education is a victory. Please keep up the good work and take heart in all your success. And yes, delete the less than successes.


Princeton Posse said...

Just catching up...Great word. I like that.