Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

In just one day, I had never experienced so much irony.

First things first, a BBC researcher contacted the Tree House because they were alerted to a trend “Nomination Drench” of which they wanted to learn more about. It surprised them that said trend was stemming from within the deaf community, a couple of us were invited to the BBC’s New Broadcasting House to be interviewed by camera but we had to try and keep our answers to ten seconds limit each. I think we (the deaf visitors) felt a tad miffed by this method because we tend to need at least an hour or so (it seems!) to discuss something in depth with passion and detail not to forget the effort that goes into our facial expressions, body language, sign language and lip-reading. It was then explained to us that there would be a separate more in-depth interview for the radio.

My first thought was “Hmmmm?!” This was an interview about what was trending from within the deaf community to be broadcasted over the radio. That felt a lot like putting an advert over the radio for the deaf and an advert in the papers for the blind. This point was kindly and politely made by myself and they understood it from our point of view, thinking it was a very good point. We all learn something new every day and I could see they gained insight, experience and deaf awareness from just our presence and the interpreter (Andrew Green) who helped to bridge the communication barriers. Many thanks to Communication ID for being there for us.

Andrew and Dexy inside BBC's Radio Studio.

Andrew and Dexy inside BBC’s Radio Studio.

We all very much enjoyed being at the BBC, seeing how they worked and being interviewed by them. Delighting at going inside on what seemed like a mini tour. It felt very open plan and communal compared to their old BBC building. To the presenter I asked if the videos on their blog would be subtitled for the deaf community to access on an equal and united basis and he reassured me they would be.

Something else was trying to eat away at the back of my mind, keeping an eye on the time (not literally!) because I knew there was going to be a protest taking place right outside the very same building and that a few of my friends also may be in the vicinity taking part. This did not help my nerves any as well as being extremely camera shy. In order to help raise awareness for the deaf community and for the BBC to achieve their objective I had to push myself to see it through while the other two seemed so confident and enjoyed being in the frame.

The other two people who were also being interviewed, Dexy Wallace and James Clarke, I felt relief knowing there would be an interpreter for them. If there had not been one, I have no idea how they would have all coped and it would not have been without any great difficulty. I decided I would try my best to respond verbally to the questions asked of me during the interview because at the back of my mind, I predicted there would be a percentage asking “Only signers once again, what about lip-readers? They are always forgotten” Don’t forget, both of my parents are deaf and being surrounded by sign language, I am at “home”.

Soon my nerves eased over time and my head was nodding in agreement now and again to what the other two people responded with. It became a moment that was cherished by myself because there we sat, a BSL user and another who was deaf blind, myself (who can adapt to present company) brought together by the BBC who had no idea just how much this trend “Nomination Drench” had brought the deaf community together both in person and in spirit. But most of all that another deaf community was defined and strengthened once again via the use of social media.

To read BBC Trending’s article on “Nomination Drench” trend read “here” or watch here:

Even Water Aid is adopting the trend to say thank you 🙂

With every beginning there is always an end, our Interviews ended which sadly meant our experience was over but another one was about to start as my thoughts turned once again to the protest – This was a protest at the BBC due to their supposed bias towards Israel and lack of coverage on Palestinian issues. The noise was absolutely deafening, chants of “Shame on you!”, “We want change – NOW!” and “Palestine!” seemed to alternate amongst the rallying crowd. I admired how peaceful people tried their best to keep it because that is what Islam is about – “Peace”. All they were requesting is justice and awareness just as every human being deserves, as equals.

A woman who braved her pain just to be a part of the protest. Photo by SJ.

A woman who braved her pain just to be a part of the protest. (Photo by SJ)

Once again I felt this wave of self –confliction – not long before then I had been inside the BBC being interviewed (in which I did try to point out Gaza, Palestine and 3rd world countries having access to no clean water if any) yet here I was, absorbing the atmosphere that was directed at the BBC. I felt as though I was between a rock and a hard place when all one could do was go with the flow and take one step at a time. Life tests us to see how we deal with what fate decrees for us and that subsequently defines who we are and who we will become.

While the past few weeks of “Nomination Drench” has been fun as it encouraged people to overcome being camera shy, seizing the day in order to be a part of a refreshing trend that once again brought a sense of community together – My heart tells me it is now time to try and remind you of those who are suffering and on that note, I am going to tackle perhaps one of the most complicated issues known to mankind.

Another being between a rock and a hard place on “Waging A Dirty War

– SJ.

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The Domination of Nomination Drench.

The Domination of Nomination Drench hits the British Isle like wildfire – pardon the pun!

You know you are deaf when your newsfeed is filled with people pouring buckets of cold water over their heads. Up and down the country deaf people are logging in to see their newsfeed crammed full with friends and random deaf people drenching themselves with cold water. The buckets are not the only means of getting wet, some use buckets, others jumping in their poor children’s paddling pools, others jump into canals whilst holding hands, and one has even used a digger to release a rather large amount of water.

This is happening up and down the country and around the world.

The reactions vary greatly – some people hop, some scream, others remain straight faced, and some literally freeze on the spot. But not before they pass on the fate of the drenching craze to 3, 4 or 5 friends. Even the over 60’s are getting involved! Kirsty’s Uncle Ken – who has absolutely no involvement with the deaf community joined in.

Sara’s view on the latest craze is “It’s fun but some friends are saying they would rather donate to “Water Aid” due to lack of clean water and availability in Africa and 3rd world countries. I asked a few people today what they thought of it and they all said “Why?!” As it seemed to be a case of crowd following just for the sake of it like ‘Neck Nomination’ which was eventually discouraged due to it being so dangerous. As long as people are happy and are sensible about the challenge although I must admit it’s getting a tad boring seeing the same thing subsequently yet its been a hot scorching day so when my turn came, I very much welcomed it!” In the end she was very glad she seized the day and would do it again – which she did after being re-nominated post article.

Kirsty’s video:

And her Uncle Ken’s who is in Greece:

Paul’s video:

See what happens when one goes with the flow? Just don’t feel pressured to oblige – donate to charity if that suits you so.

Yet how did it all start, why are people up and down the country nominating each other – Has some strange plague taken over our minds, or are we simply nuts?!

Who really knows how it started because if one googles ” ice / cold water challenge” it gives you results mainly based in the USA, some by the forces even! So this is not just in the deaf community and not something entirely new sweeping social media yet it is new within the deaf community based in the United Kingdom except that when it first started within the UK, people had to buy alcohol when or if they forfeited the dare. It is the people’s choice who they decide to donate to and if it is a charity or “Water aid” of their choice, so be it.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Update: Please read our continued article on “Nomination Drench” by reading “Between a rock and a hard place“.

Update: Even Water Aid is doing it now to thank the deaf community 🙂