From the Editor

We are all familiar with the power of body language...



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Guest Column

Newport News Public Schools

From the Editor

Sylvia Weinstein

We are all familiar with the power of body language, but have you ever stopped to realize that our fingers are the stronghold of this communication? Think about it.

Raise one finger to your lips to say “hush.” Form a V with your index and middle fingers and join Winston Churchill in his victory sign. Hold your palm out to mean “stop!” Your index finger when waved back and forth is “come here.” Your thumb and index finger forming an O means “well done.”

Keep an eye out for how many times a day you resort to gestures automatically. Gesturing has become an important part of our language. Indeed, our international language.

Then there’s the beauty of signing, the language of the hearing impaired. Remember Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan? She taught an entire language with her fingers moving quickly in Helen’s hand! Now signing is apparent in lecture rooms, in concert halls and on the stages of the world to “speak” to our hearing-impaired friends.

I think our lives are full of little things that we do not see because we take them for granted. Or they may be so seemingly insignificant that we are too busy to notice. But there they are, these amazing little subtleties that give meaning to our lives. And to me, the unique quality of gestures is that they show how powerful language can be — without saying a word.

Sylvia Weinstein

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