We started with an energizer, then some fun with Anagrams, and finally a round of intro. Both of them afterwards talked about themselves, their work, their experinces and concerns etc. The group later tried to make simple animations, helped by us. It was their first day at this. So, far they had been focusing on Pagemaker, Corel Draw and Photopaint- but no animations so far. Anupinder taught some of the students the fine difference between rotating a graphic clockwise and anti-clockwise. Rajesh talked about his on-line adventures- how it helped him to come out of his isolation. At the end of the class, we all participated in a frank feedback session.
Later, I realized that both Anupinder and Rajesh had said something very significant, earlier in the class: Rajesh accepted that he has come to a point, where he sees clearly that real challenge and practice for him as a pws lies away from keyboard and Facebook: it is in the daily hustle and bustle of life- trying to communicate with real people face to face. I encouraged him in that direction.
Anupinder said that even though he has accepted his stammer, he still tries to look fixedly at just one person, even in a group situation. He was doing that in the computer class, as I had noticed. Yes, his acceptance is really strong enough to look at you while stammering- without blinking or showing any other sign of struggle or discomfort. But still.. He wondered aloud: May be I still dont want others in the group to see me stammering – so I just face one person and tend to face away from others in the group? We brain stormed about it. Yes, it is possible. Because complete and total acceptance takes time and consistent efforts in the shape of small structured activities over a period of time. Anupinder and I discussed which technique could help him and did a little practice of it in different situations.
Later in the evening we paid a visit to Maggi and Ruben, who fed us lot of cakes.. A perfect ending to a bouncing day in the real Stuttering arena.. For biking enthusiasts, let me share that Anupinder had biked here from Patiala (via Nahan)- a four hour ride, on a beautiful sunny September day..
Moral of the story:
1) A dialogue with others, helps you make SENSE of what you may have known in a vague and ‘dumb’ way for a long time!
2) Biking on a September morning can change your perspective on LIFE and its meaning..Go for it! (but drive safe)