Time for a new feature here at the ‘Realms, one you probably won’t see very often during the summer months: Observations From the Teacher’s Desk. Readers who have been with me for a long time no doubt remember my observations about life at the newspaper. (Boy, if only you guys had known some of the stuff I was holding back…) Well, now I spend my working days with teenagers, trying to get them to appreciate the likes of Shakespeare, Tennyson, Twain and Bradbury. These observations won’t necessarily have anything to do with the subject at hand, though. Sometimes they’ll just be something that strikes me as… odd.
For example, my first observation: kids these days don’t seem to wear watches anymore. Out of the 70-plus kids I taught this year, I could count the ones who wore a watch every day on one hand. And honestly, why do they need a watch? Everything they own already has a clock in it: their cell phone, their MP3 player, their portable video game unit, their tasers… The problem is, all of these things they own that have clocks are not allowed in school. This leaves me either with a kid trying to explain it’s okay to have his cell phone out in class because he’s only “checking the time,” or more frequently, a kid who asks me what time it is every 15 minutes every day of his life.
And if you put an analog clock on the wall? Man, you don’t even want to know how well that goes.
So parents, as a teacher I implore you: give your kids watches. Get them in the habit of wearing them. I dunno, pretend you think they’re stupid — that seems to be the best way to get a teenager to do something. In fact, I’m going to submit that as a proposal to the schoolboard next August: amend the dress code to ban wristwatches. We’ll never have a kid needing to ask the time again.