Anndi's Luggage: Teach me...
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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Teach me...

At Duke University, there were four sophomores taking chemistry and all of them had an "A" so far. These four friends were so confident, that the weekend before finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party.

They had a great time, but after all the hearty partying; they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Duke until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, they decided that after the final they would explain to their professor why they missed it.

They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final. The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day.

The guys were excited and relieved. They studied that night for the exam.

The Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them a test booklet.
They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points. Cool, they thought!
Each one in separate rooms, thinking this was going to be easy.... then they turned the page.

On the second page was written....

For 95 points: Which tire? _____

Can you blame him?

There's been much debate about banning cell phones in schools.

Is it a sign of the times that parents need to be able to have contact with their children at all times during the day (what's the school secretary for anyway)? The fact that some parents have been interviewed and actually stated that kids today (I'm not talking about college students.. kids in middle school) need their cells as a tool to 'manage' their lives and busy schedules astounds me. But then I have a nine year old who hasn't been signed up for classes, activities and sports evey day of the week. Maybe some of our children are over loaded with obligations, classes, sports and have forgotten how to actually play. It's gotten to the point where you find kids that are burning out from too much stress. They're being groomed to become corporate drones?

Is is fair to expect teachers to teach in an environment where they have to constantly compete with gadgets for the kids attention? Was it any different back when I was in school, after the invention of the wheel and the calculator? You know, before the arrival of palms, ipods, blackberrys and laptops, back in the days of the good old commodore 64.. yup.. and big old boom boxes. Oh.. and a quarter to call your parents if you needed to reach them.

I've been wondering where to draw the line. Should they be allowed to bring them to school with the condition they be left in the students' lockers to be used before, after and between classes? Can we truly expect parents to forgo the security blanket their child's cell phone has seemingly become? Do they actually think children don't lie about their location when called? That they will always answer the phone when Mom or Dad calls? That it's a magical device that surrounds the child and envelops them in a stronger than kevlar protective bubble akin to the slipperiest of slimes that predators can't latch onto?

Who teaches the child to use the cell phone in a constructive and responsible manner? The parent who can't go to a meeting at work and put their cell phone on vibrate or silent because they can't possibly miss a call, no matter how mundane? In my line of work, I'm 'on call' 24/7 (unless I'm on vacation - and they would still find me) so I can be reached in the event of a disaster or an emergency, but I have sufficient respect for the people I do business with to mute the damn phone when in a conference, a meeting or a presentation. If it 'hummms' I'm intelligent enough to look at the caller display, get up and leave the room quietly if I need to take the call.

Are the teachers of today given any support in how to deal with this?

After incidents like school shootings, parents feel safer knowing their children have a cell phone handy. But can cell phones and their use actually help or hinder in the event of an actual emergency?

I'm one of the people responsible for emergency preparedness and emergency response for my employer. And knowing there might be active use of cell phones during an emergency is a mixed blessing. Yes, it can alert the authorities in a more timely fashion, but their increased use in an emergency situation can cause serious problems for the personnel charged with intervening and crisis management.

They can overload the network in the event of a tragedy (9/11, Columbine, etc...) thus hampering communication capabilities.

A cell phone could actually detonate a bomb during a bomb scare.

They can hamper rumour control and may leak information that needs to remain hushed during the intervention portion of a crisis.
Timely emergency response can be hindered when parents flock to the location of an emergency.

So, what's the solution?

Does it make your kids safer during school hours? Should they be allowed in the classroom?
Any thoughts?

"Most people are willing to pay more to be amused than to be educated."
-Robert C. Savage

Love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

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Comments on "Teach me..."


Blogger Matt-Man said ... (1:28 PM) : 

Which Tire!? Classic. Cheers!!


Blogger Angell said ... (1:43 PM) : 

Love the question - ALWAYS CYOA - so discuss details like that ahead of time. ;D

On the cell phone issue, I do not agree with them in school. I think that if there is a need to have them, then the teacher should collect them at the beginning of the day, and then give them back as the kids file out. IF a parent needs their child, the teacher can answer the phone and locate the child to relay the message.

Kids text too much these days (I do too), and it's just another tool to get around studying for tests, and in fact, could be another way for bullies to terrorize their victims.


Blogger Anndi said ... (1:44 PM) : 


Yup! That teacher has a trick or two up his sleeve.

Thought the meat grinder might assist in your 'giving up meat for lent thingy'


Blogger Meribah said ... (3:33 PM) : 

I can't think of any good reason for a child to have a cellphone. If they need to call home, they can carry quarters and use a pay phone. I didn't have a cellphone when I was a kid, and I turned out...well, maybe not okay ('cause I'm NUTS!) but, um, well, let's just say I didn't need one then and kids don't need 'em now! LOL


Blogger Matt-Man said ... (3:59 PM) : 

I am steadfast Anndi!!


Blogger Anndi said ... (4:17 PM) : 


Poor planning on the part of those students, cell phones would have come in handy for them, don't you think? ;-)
If MY parents had an emergency, the school secretary would be informed and she relayed the message.
I understand that parents want their precious and precocious progeny to have cell phones for the trip to and from school and the various pit stops in between, but they have no place in the classroom if you ask me.


Aww honey.. you're the picture of the well adjusted puppy.. as painted by Picasso.. just a tad skewed!


Glad to know you have a firm grip on your 'thingy'.


Blogger Maryfly said ... (4:32 PM) : 

hey sweetie - IMHO, cell phones should be kept in the kids lockers. Bug has one, he calls me as soon as he gets out of school so I can tell him how he's getting home. I think it's actually cheaper then use a pay phone everyday! It's not used for anything else.



Blogger Bond said ... (9:09 PM) : 

I have heard the joke before and loved it then and now...

The cell phone thing... mixed emotions. No one should ever pick up a phone in class like the video showed.

What you do not hit on is the more common practice of text messaging.. kids today are so good at it they do not even have to look at their phones, so they can send the message from a phone hidden under a desk.

I am not sure in the lockers is the way to go...but certainly all phones should be tuned off during a class.

i always put my phone on vibrate when entering a meeting... and as you described and what happened today, the phone vibrated... I let it continue to vibrate in my pocket..and vibrate.. OH distracted.. but looked at the display, decided it was something I could wait on and returned the call after the meeting.

A cell phone going off in a movie or a restaurant makes me crazy. people who then sit in their seat at the movie and carry on a conversation.. they need to be led out and not allowed to reenter.



Blogger Travis said ... (9:34 PM) : 

Cell phones don't belong in classrooms.


Blogger Piacere said ... (7:16 AM) : 

Always love that Duke story...I keep it in the "vault" for my students, just in case...

I don't allow the use of cell phones in my class - ever! Especially during tests...I've caught a few using the calculator function and found that they had "other" useful information in their notepads (formulas, etc.). I'm just a hard-ass when it comes to that!!

Pia 'da Pledge


Blogger julie said ... (10:16 AM) : 

Wow yet another thought provoking post and yet another reason why I don't get out of the house and furthering my career sooner in the day!

Very very funny classroom musical...the teach appeared to be completely clueless as well as the students with the way they were cracking up.

Cell phones/kids. hmmm... I hooked my daughter up with one when she was 16 and son didn't get one till he was hmm probably nearly 20! But then we have troubled stepson...grr most of my days....he got one at 14 and only uses it when it serves HIS purpose! A little animosity? YUP!! But I won't post those details.

Cell phone/'s a must being in the position that I am...but I have common sense and know how to prioritize.

Thanks for sharing, honey.


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