Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not Quite My Day

Not Quite a Headache, But Close

I was on the verge of a headache all day. I tried to get a chiropractor appointment during the day with no luck as he was booked. But I have an appointment for Saturday, so it's OK. Add that to the threatening weather front coming in and again, I did not work the Boys.

But, I have resolved myself to laying them off for the winter anyhow. Riding a day or so and then being stopped by the weather for a week off and on does nothing to advance training that depends on having a fit, conditioned horse. Tucker has all his basics, so the kind of work he needs now demands fitness or I risk sore hocks, stifle issues, and muscle soreness.

I could be riding Chance, of course, as we are still establishing the basics, but sometimes it's just not worth the effort of saddling up for 10-15 minutes of riding on another unfit horse. That is why the hacking out is a nice option as it does not put a lot of physical stress on them.

But I didn't hack out either as the weather forecast was full of warnings of heavy winds. I have no idea if they ever rolled in or not as I lay down for a while shortly after I fed the Boys and fell asleep with hot packs all around my sore neck.

School, with a hint of a headache, was a bit more frustrating than usual today. Mostly because yesterday ended badly with a "cell phone" incident and today started off with almost a repeat. School rules prohibit students from using cell phones, Ipods, etc. during the school day--particularly in classes. Every day, I have to warn at least one student. I have been kinder this year than in the past in that I give a warning, sometimes even two, before I confiscate the phone. Thursday, I finally took a phone away from a student who persisted after two warnings. I took the phone to the vice-principal for him to hold. At the end of the day, I was paged to the main office, where the semi-hysterical, rude student started yelling at me about her phone. I calmly told her the VP had it, she insisted he didn't and she'd missed her bus because of me, and where was her phone, etc. She told me to walk down to the VP's office to get the phone, but I called him on the office phone instead and reminded him of the fact that I'd given him the cell in an envelope and he'd put it in his file cabinet. Once he remembered, he said it was her fourth offense anyhow so she couldn't get the phone back until her parents came in. I sent hysterical student back down to him to deal with it.

Friday morning, hysterical student was in my homeroom with either her cell phone or iPod on AGAIN. I took a deep breath and warned her, but then I had to keep an eye on her all period to make sure she didn't take it out again. This was repeated in my last period class with another student.

The fact is, the kids lie right to my face. I will tell them to put the device away, they apologize and then seconds later the phone is back on. They text message now, and believe it or not, I have actually had two kids in the same room texting to each other during class. (Not swapping answers on a test or anything, but just chatting.)

No more Ms. Nice Guy. I am issuing a warning on Monday morning. I will no longer warn students to put the devices away. If I see a cell phone or Ipod out the first time, I will confiscate it. Don't even let me see it on your desk. Don't even let me THINK you are using it. I am tired of wasting my time watching kids all period to make sure they are not texting. I am tired of hearing music coming through earphones at the other end of the room, I am tired of repeatedly being lied to, and I am tired of having my class come in second to a phone message.

The trouble is, in this age of instant electronic gratification, people in general seem to believe they absolutely NEED to be on the phone wherever and whenever they want to. I hear cell phones ring in church, in the theater, and, oh yes, one of my favorites in the supermarket. People are out shopping yakking away on their cell phones to the point where--if you don't see the phone--you think they are raving lunatics talking to themselves. They drive their cars all over the road at erratic speeds because they are on the cell phone. They answer phone calls during important meetings. And, if you are in what seems to be a good solid personal coversationg with them, they will turn away from you, rather rudely I fear, and talk to someone else on the cell phone as if you have become invisible.

I rant. But unless I am in an office setting or a place where phone calls are an expected and necessary interruption, I am no longer going to be a party to this farce. Ignore me because your cell rings and I'll just walk away. I won't wait for you to finish your converstation with THEM so I can finish MY conversation with YOU. If they have priority, you talk to them. I don't have the time to waste standing there trying to be polite, trying not to listen in, feeling horribly awkward and totally insignificant in your life. (It's one thing if you excuse yourself and tell me it's an important call you've been waiting for, but otherwise...."Bye bye.")

And in class? Don't even think of interrupting with a call on your cell. It's gone or your're gone. I'm done with it.

Rant over.


  1. You shoudl carry a personal wave-length scribbler ... don't know if it exists but that would be good, would not be?

    With your boys, you really ought to try clicker training. It is such fun fom of communication. I am sure Tucker would love to learn some tricks!

    Go check Alexandra Kurkland

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed your rant! I do carry one at my husband's insistence and concern for Tetley but it's always on vibrate outside of the house. So I check when it's convenient, not when it rings. I actually consider it to be an invasion of privacy, my privacy!

  3. I thoroughly agree with your rant about cell phones,blackberries, ipods etc... Not only are they annoying they are dangerous when used by drivers. The scariest thing I ever saw was a driver of a tractor trailer I was passing drifting into my lane, as I passed him I saw, yes he was on a phone. I carry one for emergencies only and feel no one needs to hear my conversations and I don't want to hear yours. One other pet peeve about cell phones I've encountered would be kids/adults using them while riding. What could be so important that you have to stop and answer a call when you are on your horse!
    These people are just rude. Your students are probably typical of what's happening in this country with education. Not much learning because communicating with friends is more important than learning something that may help them in their futures. It's disheartening.

    We've had a lot of cold and wind and our horses haven't been getting much work either. Feel better.

  4. Part of why it is so offensive when someone answers their phone during a conversation is the fact that they are demonstrating their priority and you are not it. It is arrogant and narcicistic. Their time and needs being so obviously more important than yours.

  5. i agree about mobile phones (we call them mobiles, not cells, over here...) in class, meetings, etc etc. also agree about people having long conversations whilst driving and not using a hands free - short only if you must, but certainly hands free.

    but i carry my mobile all the time and woulnd't be without it. even partner hates it when i forget it, and she can't see the point of them until she needs to ring me to go to the shop on my way home.....

    and i always excuse myself if phone rings when i'm talking to someone, and look to see who it is...

    overe here, a lot of schools don't allow people to take them into school.

  6. One more delayed brainwave: Buy several pairs of oven-gloves and make offenders wear them. They can't text, if they have no fingers!