Remember when the idea of talking face to face to someone far away was science fiction? Me, too. And then I kept hearing about this Skype thing, mostly from Oprah. My best friend from high school was about to move overseas as a missionary when her sister was about 8 months pregnant, and M was lamenting that she would get to see or meet her niece for 3 years. I said, "What about Skype?" Turns out, that's exactly what they did. And now they all talk frequently, even with the time difference.
So, as an early Christmas present, Mom gave us a new laptop (goodbye old piece of junk) with a built-in webcam solely for the purpose of using Skype to keep in touch. I know, I know. It's mostly so that the whole family can keep up with Elsie's growth, but I like to think they want to see me, too. Haha. So, today, we got all the software up and running and got to Skype it with the fam, ready for a Christmas morning celebration that will span the geographical distance. Woohoo! Elsie's first Christmas and virtually everyone can be there! (Haha...virtually.)
The other joke, too, is that Elsie will think these people are in the computer. My parents used to tell a story (and was there a recording, or am I just making this up?) of when Stacey was little and they were making a tape to send Grandma. "Tell Grandma goodbye." "Where is she?" "She's in the tape recorder." Or something like that. Hard to explain technology to little kids. But I DO remember my niece, when she was little (3, maybe?), asking me if I was checking my e-mail, and me being stunned. Now they have cell phones. My students don't believe me that I was 24 or 25 before I first got one (and they also don't really understand that cell phones haven't always been around).
Which brings me to my last tangent before I call it a night. I had a student who would not behave during locker dismissal time, and as a result she was not allowed to go to her locker. I gave her multiple chances to get it, all she had to do was sit in her seat and not talk for long enough to convince me that she wanted to go to her locker (1-2 minutes, maybe), but she didn't. As a result, her mom called the assistant principal to complain about me and this situation, saying that her daughter was locked out of the house without her key and her phone, and because she didn't have her phone couldn't call her mother. Because she didn't know her mother's phone number.
Have we gotten so lazy that we don't teach our children how to store important phone numbers in analog ways (i.e. their brains?) in case of emergency. I mean, if she got home, didn't have her house key, though she had her cell phone, but the battery was dead, wouldn't she still be in the same predicament? Call and complain to the assistant principal about that.
Just to wrap this up with a bow, the same student was actively texting in my class two days later, so her phone got taken up and turned into the assistant principal, and again, had to go home without her cell phone. She was mad at me, of all people. Mr. AP said he would be happy to call the mother, as he opened the safe and put the phone in. The kids were mad, too, telling me that I didn't know that cell phone policy because this was my first year here, that the other teachers would have given them a warning. Whatever. I closed my door and pointed to my cell phone policy sign which has been on my door since day one--you know that one that says cell phones will stay in your lockers or be turned over to an administrator, NO EXCEPTIONS? And then I kindly pointed to my name on the door. It doesn't matter what the other teachers do. I follow the rules, and this is my classroom. End of discussion.
And that was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. So you wonder why I had such a stressful three weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas? Yeah. That's why. Teenagers.
Where do I apply for sainthood, again?