Smart Phone Free: Day One

Today is my first day without my smart phone.

I can’t believe it. I actually gave it up. It has been bothering me for years. I was so disconnected from everything because I had the whole of the interwebz at my fingertips. I would sit on the couch, playing games, and checking my social media statuses. Last time I had a phone upgrade, I was so tempted to get a simple phone, but I chickened out and got another smart phone.

This time I didn’t give in to my addiction.

My hubby graciously let me use his upgrade to get a more simple phone. He was completely content to use my smart phone instead of getting a new one. I think he was really happy to get me back.

So, here’s my phone.

Isn't it shiny?

Isn’t it shiny?

I know it isn’t much to look at right now, BUT there are many colorful cases that are so inexpensive, I could buy a different one for every day of the week and only spend a little more than the black, boring case I bought for my smart phone. Imma be stylin’!

Get this! It has T9 texting! Inorite?!?!? I remember when I could do that with my eyes closed. It is already coming back to me. One thing I still have to practice is answering it. I always hang up on the person who is calling. I’ll get it though.

Another thing that is awesome: I have battery life again. I used it all day and still had the five bars of the battery. It really does wonders to not be on facebook/twitter all day. I am more content now than I have been in a very long time. I don’t have the urges to check and see what is going on with the my social media.

I’ve had time to write. Rather, I’ve recaptured the time I spent avoiding life. Writing is work if you want to do it well. My smart phone gave me an excuse to not do it. Maybe excuse isn’t the correct word. The obsessive/perfectionist part of my brain seized on it as a way to protect me from failing at writing. Yay, mixed up brain chemicals!

The only issue that I have had so far is a feeling of confusion in the morning. I would wake up, sit on the couch, and check my social media. Sometimes I would play a game or surf the web. It was my morning ritual. Instead of having coffee, I used my smart phone. I am sure that it will pass as I create new rituals.

My heart is happy with my choice. I feel like a burden has been lifted and I can get back to being me again.

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Save them All

“At least yours is nice. This one here’s nothing but trouble,” said the woman indicating a young girl sitting next to her. This girl couldn’t have been older than 10. The girl’s eyes flashed and her face hardened. Her lips tightened into a line and her body tensed.

I mumbled something about how hard it is to grow up and that kids mature over time, putting on my best parent/teacher conference face– the one that helps me get out of conferences where the parent starts yelling at their child. My daughter and I moved forward in the line; my eyes avoiding any contact with hers.

“This one has had everything handed to her. She doesn’t know how to work for anything.”

“Hmmm.” And because I can’t keep my mouth shut when I see a child being torn down instead of built up, I said, “They usually outgrow it. I teach high school and I see it all the time.”

“Oh, really,” the woman said and asked me what school I taught at. “You won’t want this one in your class.  She’s 11 and she never goes to school. We can’t get her to. She’s rude and hard to deal with.”

creative commons license: apdk

I want to save them all.

I could see the girl’s body language go back and forth. She cycled through anger, dejection, frustration, and despair. I wanted to gather her in my arms and tell her that she *is* good inside and that she could find it if someone helped her. Instead, I just held on to my daughter tightly. Stealing other people’s children is frowned upon, even if you don’t think they’re getting treated correctly.

I was rescued from further interaction with the unfortunate family by the person behind the counter asking me if I wanted rice or lo mein. We got our food (which was delicious, btw) and sat down to eat. I listened to my daughter ramble on about her day, making appropriate noises when necessary and enjoying her company.

I couldn’t get the little girl out of my head. One of the comments that the woman made– that they couldn’t get her to go to school — hit that part of me that hates it when parents don’t take responsibility for their children. I understand that it can be difficult. I really do. I’ve seen some really good parents struggling with their children. The difference is that they take responsibility.

I don’t understand how adults can’t get an 11 year old to school. It baffles me.

My mom was a single mom and we were latch-key kids. We went to school. There was no question about it. Even though she had to work hard to make sure that we had food to eat, raising us was always her first priority. If we got into trouble at school, she made sure that she was there. She built us up without making us arrogant. We knew how to behave appropriately. My mom was a responsible parent and she raised me to be a responsible adult.

I know I don’t know the whole story behind what is happening with this little girl and her family. I try really hard not to be judgmental (and fail sometimes), but I don’t think the answer lies in humiliating a child in a public place by talking badly about her.

When will people learn that shaming doesn’t help? It builds resentment and destroys trust.

Reason 12 That I Teach

I received this email today from one of my former students. I think it speaks for itself.

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Mrs.F,

I miss having your glorious class everyday. I miss seeing your smiling face. I miss the vikings birthday song. I miss doing all the homework. I miss reading books. I miss your laugh, you always made my day. I miss everything that contained to your first hour class last year; but most of all I miss you. I miss you being my teacher and I want you to teach Juniors next year!

I was wondering how you have been, since the last time I saw you.? Do you think that next year you will switch over to Juniors possibly?

Sincerely Your Most Favorite Student and Your Biggest Fan,

X

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’nuff said.