Slice of Life Day 27: Failure to Connect

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hDuring the month of March I am blogging daily with others in the Slice of Life Daily Challenge. Thank you  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth at Two Writing Teachers for providing and supporting this place to learn and grow. Read more slices here.

After school.The class is relatively clean and it’s quiet. Perfect. Prime time for responding, writing, tweeting.

Pull out the computer.

Internet not responding.

Try again.

Same thing.

Change wireless connections. Nada.

Hard wire.

It just spins.

My hands are tied. Everything I need access to is on the web.  Can’t look at student work, it’s on the blog. No reading blogs, writing, tweeting.  Serious irritation.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have even known the internet was down. Last year I wasn’t anywhere near twitter or blogs; my kids’ work was on paper, in notebooks..

Social media and technology in the classroom has opened my world and lightened the load of papers I take home. Opportunities and connections are only limited by the amount of sleep I want to deprive myself of.

But when it doesn’t work, how do I work?

I sit back. The phone. Access. (Can you hear my sigh of relief?)

My teaching partner walks in to tell me the office just put the service call in.  He laughs at me. Just yesterday he came in I had an iPad in one hand, phone in the other.

My after school students are reading, taking this all in.  One looks up from her book and says, “What’s the problem Mrs. Harmatz you were born before the internet, you should be fine.” She laughs. “We’re the ones who are suppose to be all into the internet we’re fine just reading books.”

So wise. I love these kids. They are readers of books with pages made of paper and ink. They are happy just to have space, quiet and time with magazines and books surrounding them.

Old school I think. I open up a document on Microsoft word and start to type.

4:30 rolls around, TCRWP chat time PST. I pull out the  phone and introduce myself. The tweet goes through. I see the first question. and then, a spinning wheel — no tweets loaded.

Really? You’ve got to be kidding me, I say out loud.

My students laugh at me.

I wait. Keep trying other ways. I walk outside, thinking maybe it’s the room. It’s got to come back, I think.

“Ha!  Look at Mrs. Harmatz trying to get reception.”

5:00. Still nothing. Ok that’s it. I’m done. “Kids, sorry I gotta go.”

They look at me. I’m embarrassed to tell them the truth. I think they know.  They pick up and say goodbye. I’m a bit guilty but they are the ultimate benefactors, I rationalize.

Out the parking lot, up the street, and into a local strip mall’s parking lot. Check for signal. Yes!

I’m back.


Re reading this slice, I wonder, do I need a social media 12-step program?  I’m probably asking the wrong audience, but perhaps there is a balance. Anyone?

9 thoughts on “Slice of Life Day 27: Failure to Connect

  1. Our internet at school is so much slower than at my home, I do all the no-internet things at school & do much of the rest at home. If you have student work online, that is a different story, especially if you prefer to stay after school to do it. As more of us are online at school, our capacity is filling fast, & I’ve recently heard that it’s very expensive to “purchase” a better line. Maybe we’re all going to hit a wall one of these days! Interesting to think about how this is impacting us, and how we manage without, Julieanne!

  2. I try and unplug when I find myself mindlessly wandering through the web. I agree with Linda, you were searching for connection for work, for a purpose. I think you’re good…but if you do find a meeting, I’ll probably be there with you. 🙂

  3. At some point our school was heading to all paperless and all I-Pad based school, but I’m glad we didn’t. On the days when internet is down we seem to be helpless. “I can’t do anything” is a common phrase. It may be true for the office but certainly not in the classroom. There are alternatives. In your case, having a Twitter PD session, I don’t think there was an alternative, so your choice to leave and find a place with a connection was the right one.

  4. I do feel a sense of information overload – the need to check blogs, tweets, Facebook, what have you. I’ve kind of given up of Twitter chats for now – it moves too fast, and I think in long sentences.

  5. It is hard to believe that when I was in college the first time I had an electric typewrite. I was thrilled when I got a word processor! My how times have changed! I have been gone for a couple of days and I can’t believe how different these this time has been. I have missed my “devices” but it was nice to enjoy the down time.

  6. You were online for a good cause, improving your teaching. It is funny, though that your students were the ones reading paper and ink while you had Internet withdrawal. My teen daughter says I spend too much time online.

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