Man Can I Relate…

Sometimes I want to do this in class, too, when kids think that answering a phone and chatting is more important than a lecture, or that it’s okay to text-message during exams, and so on. Not that I would do this to a student’s phone, but I sure want to, sometimes.

(Usually, instead, I ask, “Is this a life-and-death emergency?” when the phone rings, or, with repeat offenders, I take the phone and speak into it in English, or, once, in somewhat-simple but all-the-same-comprehensible Korean words, I informed the person’s girlfriend that he was in class and unavailable to talk. And then, for three weeks, I start class by waiting till everyone takes out his or her phone and turns it on vibration mode.)

But the urge sometimes to do this does, one has to admit, exist.

UPDATE: Seems I’m not the only one to have noticed this video.

7 thoughts on “Man Can I Relate…

  1. I’d confiscate the phone.

    For a week.

    Then return it.

    And announce at the very beginning of the first lecture that this is what I would do, so as to give plenty of warning.

    And definitely do it to the first person who answered the phone in class — if you carry through on the threat/promise the first time, it’s extremely effective. (It is with toddlers, anyway….)

  2. Ha…

    You remember that bit in _Player of Games_ when Bora Horza is all weirded out because he didn’t bring his comm unit thingie with him to meet the droid? And how everything bad in the Culture’s myths and stories comes from the moment when someone leaves the comm thingie at home? Well… that is the cell phone in Korea. Students often won’t turn it off, and some refuse to put it even to vibrate mode — not verbally, they just don’t do it when they’re told. They think you’re joking unless you literally wait for them to take out their phones and turn them off. And even then some won’t do it.

    One thing that works is marking anyone who touches a phone in class as absent, though. That one percent of their final mark, that is a measure that counts. I think I’ll start announcing that next semester. This semester, I mostly just have been making a comment like, “I want to break that phone…” or “My God I hate cell phones!”, but this phone thing is starting to annoy me a little. Massage the phone all day outside class if you like, but in the classroom, barring emergency (at which point 1% of a grade is nothing to stop one), phones should be offlimits.

  3. I get that, I really do. But you and I are old enough to remember the days when either someone would have tracked him down anyway.

    When I had a cell phone, I couldn’t have lived without it. Without one, I can’t imagine having one.

    (Having said that, I’d get one in a heartbeat in Korea. I just wouldn’t turn it on all the time.)

  4. Kangmi,

    Yeah, you’re right. Someone would have called the department office, and the secretary, assuming she could do so without computer tech, would have looked up his schedule and then come running to the class or something. I remember the days when it was like that — when my father had a heart attack, I was called to the office immediately. Of course, now, the secretary would ask, “Doesn’t he have a cell phone?”

    Which is part of why they’re so necessary in Korea. The way plans tend to get messed up here by all kinds of random things — especially changed minds at the last minute — and the way cell phones have impacted culture here in general to allow for that more flexibly, and to allow for vague plans — “meet me at (vaguely described location)” and so on — make them a basic necessity here, moreso, it seems from my recent stay in Seattle, than they are in North America.

  5. Which is one thing that hasn’t changed in Korea (changed plans at the last minute, etc.), and which is why I’d want one should I even visit for a bit. One would have been immensely useful while I lived there.

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