Monday, 21 March 2011

Stand by your man

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."
"What?"
"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..."

11 comments:

Anna L. Walls said...

Maybe schools should have those technological things in each classroom that blocks cellphones. Don't know what they are called, but if each classroom had one, the kids couldn't text or tweet during class. Now wouldn't that be a cold shower?

Simon M Hunter said...

Hi Anna. These aren't kids; they're all men with families. Not sure if that makes it better or worse...

MeltonM said...

It's amazing what people will look at. Several months after we got an internet connection (I'm going back a few years) I realized that you could check what people had been looking at on the computer. Then I understood why the house was always crammed with teenage boys. I'd considered myself something of a homme du monde before that epiphany. Afterwards I understood that I knew nothing.

MeltonM said...

Very much like the new background, btw. The white was a bit stark.

Simon M Hunter said...

Thanks MM. I must say I am impressed with the choice Blogger offers: not only the wide variety of styles but the chance to export the blog in toto to another domain if and when I buy one.

Rachel Hoyt said...

I agree with Anna. They should make some way for kids to not be able to use their phones during school. If the only way to teach them some patience is to force it on them, then so be it! You don't have to know RIGHT AWAY that your friend Jim took a cool video of some dude tripping in the courtyard... do you?!

Simon M Hunter said...

Good luck with that, Rachel!

TC said...

Simon,

Thanks so much for helping me to cease regretting the loss of that last teaching job.

Simon M Hunter said...

That's a compliment, isn't it? Yes, it must be; thanks Tom. I enjoy teaching though: it gets me out and I talk to people, which are not things I would do otherwise.

TC said...

Oh, certainly a compliment, Simon; those few who continue to earnestly attempt to provide others with the opportunity to learn (whether they gratefully accept or foolishly forsake that opportunity of course is up to them, and indeed the figures on this are not encouraging, but still), in a world that continually appears never to have learned anything from its own long experience, remain heroes to me.

(And this is said by one not given to hero-worship.)

The words "forlorn hope" spring curiously to mind.

Simon M Hunter said...

We are all but recent leaves on the same old tree of life and if this life has adapted itself to new functions and conditions, it uses the same old basic principles over and over again. There is no real difference between the grass and the man who mows it.

Albert Szent-Györgyi