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day time drama part 1

November 5, 2010

To answer and to torture are the same verb in Hebrew. Coincidence?

I learned this because there is going to be a theraputic excerise starting Sunday at Nirim. It’s a 20 hour exersice from about 4pm till noon on Monday. It’s called a ‘Hatkafah’ which means ‘to jump’. we are going to sit the kids down at 4 when they return to Nirim open the floor to kids to bring to light any and all problems that they have with each other. I mean the real problems that they have with one another. The real secrets that they’re hiding. Now, at first, no one will really open up… Maybe infer that someone is messy but no-one really wants to be the snitch. So, we’ll wait! And wait… And wait some more where the only way to get out of this circle is to start speaking.

Why is it going to work? Becuase these kids cannot sit still and cannot be with ‘themselves’ for more then 5 minutes. No exaggeration.

Doesn’t this seem a lot like torture? Waiting for someone to divuldge information, them refusing, and the questioners pressuring with mental pain where the only path to end the pain is by divuldging information?

What’s my job in this? To sit… with them. Silent. What did I do? (Jokes!)

Oh ya… So why is this event occuring? Because another violent fight broke out yesterday and it’s time to force these kids to start talking with each other and begin looking at themselves in the mirror. They are all one uncontrolled flare up away from criminal records and this fight was not the first violent one of the year. (the year only really started at the beginning of October).

I swear, there’s more drama here then on day time soaps!

Love ya!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Sharpe permalink
    November 5, 2010 12:37 pm

    WOW!!!!! Justin,
    This is really heavy duty stuff and psychologically very interesting. Let me know if it really works. Theory is one thing, practice is another. They are just kids, how can they be so angry. I can’t imagine their backgrounds for them to react so violently. It’s like a jungle, only the fittest survive. What a learning experience for you.Please keep us posted soon on this one. Do they get time off to eat or use the washroom? Do you?? How many adults are present for this?? You are definitely meeting another side of the world that we are not used to. There are many kids like these here in Toronto, for example Eva’s Place,(for homeless kids) but we don’t get to see them up close. I often wonder at the ability of the counsellors working with them how they get them to turn their lives around, get jobs, and be a constructive part of the community. They are sooo lucky to have you to learn from them and for you to learn how to guide them to have confidence in themselves. We have a great need for people like you to help those less fortunate than we are right here at home. I am soo proud of you for volunteering for this very challenging task.
    Wishing you an early Shabbat Shalom and good luck on Sunday.
    Lots of love and hugs, Bubby Ann

  2. Dad permalink
    November 5, 2010 7:19 pm

    4pm till noon the next day? Wow! My spidy sense says it is impossible. Like you said, five minutes is a stretch. 1 hour is a miracle. Anything more and you’re living on borrowed time…

    Let me know how it goes, and Good Luck!

    (I’d say “break a leg”, but Tyler and Bubby Ann have already done that!)

    Love ya,


  3. Sandee Sharpe permalink
    November 6, 2010 6:51 pm

    Not sure if this will work or not; however I understand the approach that they have to try something with the kids. That’s much more proactive than sitting back and waiting for the next violent fight. It sounds as if there’s a volcano brewing. These kids have come from such varied backgrounds it’s no wonder that they can’t turn their lives around in a week or two. It takes courage to look in the ‘mirror’ – and if they can do that, they have a chance of breaking old patterns and really moving forward in their lives. As ‘people watching goes’ it doesn’t get more ‘reality’ than this. Hugs, Mee

  4. Noa Gurvis permalink
    November 6, 2010 8:59 pm

    That DOES sound like torture. Except the jokes part. They probably were good.

    Love you, miss you,

    Noa ❤

  5. Tyler permalink
    November 7, 2010 7:59 pm

    Wow – Pretty intense stuff Justin.
    It’s a good thing Mom and Dad didn’t do that to us…I would have caved for sure.

  6. leahpomerantz permalink
    November 8, 2010 10:44 pm

    hey justin, well, we are waiting! 🙂 i was at a conference friday and saturday and thinking of you. it was the BC association of social workers and one presentation was about dialogue circles and the power of sitting and talking together. this is in the context of appreciative inquiry – just listening to each other’s stories. it works wonders in getting people to know about each other and building community. different than what you were planning with your kids but similarities exist too. anyway, like everyone else, i am looking forward to hearing how it went. hope you are well – and energized from it! xoxLeah

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