Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mobile Madness

Okay, seldom do I ever get too involved in the world of politics, but when one’s government officials does or says something so profoundly stupid, it automatically requires a swift and merciless rebuttal. More correctly, it deserves a Jurassic-sized slap upside the cranium, but as I am currently not in Ottawa, nor can afford the hefty price of gas to make the eight hour journey, this scathing blog rant will just have to suffice.

I’ve never been a purveyor for the virtues of mobile cell phones – ever. I once owned a Blackberry for work but found the distraction it created from other important things such as, oh, say, the rest of life for example, to be absolutely fucking annoying and I never regretted giving it back. I understand the importance of cell phones in today’s rapidly developing electronic and communication-enhanced society, but that doesn’t mean I also have to willingly go traipsing gayly into it; “rage, rage against the dying of the light…”

Long story short – I think cell phones are for pussies.

But be that as it may, schools in the GTA are currently engaged in a heated debate about whether or not their students should be allowed to utilize mobile phones while at school; more specifically – while in the classroom.

Currently, schools mostly operate with a strict cell phone policy that doesn’t allow their use in the school, either in the classroom or in the hallway and, too fucking right, if you ask me. If we’re going to allow them their precious cell phones, we may as well as go for broke and allow them to come to class armed as well.

What the hell?

But now, our illustrious Premier Dalton McGinty has suggested that we take a second at this cell ban and consider reinstating their use in the school system, or at least “be open to the idea of allowing students to use cell phones in class”.

Are you fucking kidding me? Why does a child ever need a cell phone in the first place, much less at school? Apart from using their remote Internet access available on any cheap-ass cell phone to Google the answer to their Geography final, what else would they ever need to use it for? It’s not like they need to make last minute reservations for their playground using their newest iPhone app are they? And heavens forbid should they ever be asked to go an hour without updating their Facebook status.

Shit, no - that’s important every day stuff!

The debate stemmed from concerns from parents about the cell phone ban because it curbed contact with their child throughout the day. Really? Like the 17-year-old Grade 12 student who recently needed to take an “important” call from his father during class one day. The emergency, you ask? Well, his father felt it was important for little Johnny to be informed about what they having for dinner - Beefaroni. God knows where that would have left Johnny had he missed that important message for sure!

Students themselves – obviously – as in favor of lifting the ban. Take Grade 12 student Monica Scanlan, for example. She says that she’s against the ban "for sure. It wouldn't be the end of the world to not use them in class, but it would be really hard to find my friends at lunch if we couldn't use them in the halls."

Hey, that’s great Monica. I mean, who gives a shit if you ever use them to learn in class or not, consider the serious social ramifications of not being able to find your friends quickly at lunchtime. Clearly, that’s not a world worth living in.
Parent Helga Teitsson said that she opposes an "outright ban, because as a parent, (she) rely(s) on being able to have access to (her) kids to remind them of the dentist or another appointment." She continues, "I think there are rules in place in the classroom, and I'm sure students push those rules," said the mother of two teens, "but I think parents today rely on cell phones to keep communication open with their kids." Really? Because I would have thought the top priority of sending her kids to school was to – you know - LEARN shit, and not be at her beckon call every minute of the day.

Maybe it’s just me, but Helga may just have to resort to an ancient tool known as a “calendar” (kal-uhn-der)* to remind her of her children’s after school volleyball games or dentist appointments, or whatever. She may even have to bite-the-bullet and hold herself e, as well as her child, accountable for being a responsible, capable individual and not have to needlessly rely on convenience gadgets to organize their day.

Call me old fashioned.

McGinty, however, argues that "telephones and BlackBerry’s and the like are conduits for information today, and one of the things we want our students to do is to be well-informed." Umm, again and, maybe it’s just me, but since we actually want our students to be “well-informed” we actually make them learn the shit and not just how to look up the crib notes on their Crackberry’s.

How would it look if a brain surgeon had to quickly Google instructions on anatomy because he didn’t really know the info, but rather, knew where to look it up? What sense does that make? “Hey, Suzy, don’t worry about actually learning basic math because you can always use the fancy ‘Tip Calculator ‘ feature on your new Motorola instead.”
That’s ludicrous!

In my opinion, we’re just teaching our children to be incapable, helpless little pussies. If a child should ever have to go an entire day without instant access to their precious Worldwide Web on their cells - like we did in my day – they would probably shrivel up and turn to dust and their brains would liquefy.

Children go to school learn – period. So what sense does it make to then include the one device that provides about a zillion distractions all at once so besides learning their multiplication tables they’re also watching the latest YouTube video, checking the latest Justin Bieber Twitter update, taking endless profile pictures, and texting their friends about the big rumble at the four-way stop after school.
What I really don’t get is that this stand against cell phone bans is being championed by the same asshole who also made it illegal for motorists to use cells, as well as cabinet ministers while in session. He’s the “Education Minister” for fuck sakes! So teach them to smart and resourceful, you moron; not spineless retards with the attention span of a coma patient.

Personally – I favor the Spartan way of educating. Forget the cell phone and other distracting toys of convenience; snatch the child away from the parents at an early age and drive them out into the unforgiving wilderness with nothing more than a pocket knife and a toothbrush and then ditch them. If they make it back to civilization alive, they live. If not….

That’s a real learning opportunity!

Does anyone else feel that "communication" is overrated anyway? "Good children are meant to be seen and not heard" is what my grandfather always used to say. We don't also need to encourage them to Tweet, text, Myspace, or Facebook every waking thought that goes through their undeveloped pea brains at every opportunity as well, do we? Shit no! My children will be lucky to talk by the time they're 18-years-old, much less paying for unlimited texting.

* A table or register with the days of each month and week in the year. Primarily used to record or register chronologically, as of appointments, work to be done, or cases to be tried in a court of law.


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