Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Tonight my kids got themselves scolded by their dad (it's usually me!) for singing a middle school teacher's ring tone at the dinner table for the second night in a row.

It took a few minutes for the implication of their knowledge to dawn on me. I asked, "Do your teachers have their phones on in class?" Apparently they do. Some of them ALWAYS have their phones on, while others seem to have it on only when there is some issue of concern going on in their private lives. The kids offered examples of teachers who answered their phones frequently, and even of a music teacher who would give #2 a piece to practice during her tutorial and then would make calls. This same teacher is reportedly often on the phone as students are filing in for music classes.

I must admit that this surprises me. Most of these offending teachers are my parents' age, so it's not as if they've never been without this modern convenience. It's not like they are fresh out of college telling parents, "The kids were all crazy so I was like, 'Um, should you be doing that?,' and they were like, 'Um, no."" **

I need to acknowledge my bias. Very few people have my cell number. My family, the school (for emergencies) and two good friends (also largely for emergencies since we watch eachother's kids). I've given it to teaching artists for use on Art Fridays at school. If I want to be sure a doctor can reach me, I use that number. I will hand it out to contractors doing work on my house. That's about it. And I rarely get calls. Good thing, really, because after a call I have "The Tikki Room" going through my head all day. Unless Larry calls me, then it's the theme song to "Get Smart."

But I digress. I don't think teachers should have phones on during classroom hours. Period. It's not professional. They have a job that is all about ongoing interpersonal communication. They have precious few hours to teach an increasingly ridiculously large amount of material. To set themselves up for more interruption than is bound to happen naturally in a classroom is just plain silly.

Maybe I'm just a fuddy duddy on this one. Maybe it won't be long before going to school will be nothing more than logging on to "Now class, are we all connected?"

**On an unrelated note, Larry and I heard this actual account given by our son's teacher during Back-to-School Night. She is great, and I adore her, as does my boy. She just makes me feel old when I hear things like that coming out of her mouth!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Birthday Season

It's Birthday Season at my house. I had enough forethought during my child-bearing years to have my kids in the consecutive months of October, November, December and January. It's especially convenient now that this is not only the Holiday Season for the Western World, but also Soccer Season for our family. (I LOVE soccer, it's my favorite thing. I'm sure glad I let all FOUR kids sign up this year--although 6 days a week is just NOT enough. I wish there were more days for MORE soccer!)

The first birthday of the season is a week from today, but her party will be this Friday. 12 girls at my house for a pizza and movie night. We're going to watch "Little Manhattan." (Great movie, I highly recommend it.) Best thing about it is that as I type my kitchen is being demolished! Tonight I'll have to paint behind where the new cabinets will go, once I get back up the hill from soccer, and Larry will need to do a little electrical work. The cabinets will be installed (with plywood counter-tops and a temporary sink) tomorrow and Wednesday, meaning I have Thursday to reload my cabinets. Thursday evening is a PTA meeting and Friday morning I have smARTS until noon.

So, I ask, When do I clean? The Birthday Girl's room is a disaster! (As are the others' for that matter.) Don't forget all of the soccer and a horseback riding lesson. Larry also invited the missionaries to dinner Tuesday--very nice. Plus I have acupuncture on Thursday morning, chiropractic that afternoon, and I am really hoping to get in a yoga class sometime since I missed last week.

Well, I actually have a small reprieve--I was telling all of this to the woman who cleans my bathrooms this morning, and she has a spot on Friday to come help me mop, dust, vacuum, etc. That, I think, will be my saving grace.

Remind me please, in my next life, to have my kids in the summer.