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.