Getting my students off their Blackberries and iphones is a never-ending struggle. I've given them an utterly fascinating exercise on memo-writing and what do you know? Half the ingrates are surreptitiously tapping away, hoping I won't notice. Sometimes I pretend not to, but it amazes me how wedded they are to the wretched things. I have visions of them waking up in a cold sweat at 3am, anxious in case they've missed the latest tweet.
Anyway, during a break yesterday I heard an appalling screaming coming from a student's phone. I looked up; naturally it was Abdullah.
"What on earth is that noise?" I said testily.
"Nothing, teacher, just a video of a girl."
I looked askance. "Surely you're not watching naughty videos again, Abdullah? There's a time and a place you know."
He looked chastened. "Oh no, teacher. It's not that. This is a girl being buried alive."
"In Iran," he said helpfully. "This girl was cheating on her boyfriend, so he buried her alive. Look."
I didn't. Life's too short for such horror. "Next exercise: describing line graphs. Key words: fluctuate, decline steadily, hit a low..."