This weekend I was in a pension in Pyeongchang with the other Gangwon-do coordinators. It was Sunday morning and C the game fiend got me and several others to play the game Smash Up with him. I'd never heard of this game before and listened intently when he explained how to play it. He went over everything like a pro. He walked us through each turn, explaining what each card could do and why. Slowly but surely, a rhythm developed.
And there was a lull in the gameplay and I pulled out my phone to--of all things--check emails and messages. Why? Just because, I guess. I have no real reason here, for even if I had gotten emails, I dislike typing on the phone's tiny keypad and dislike reading the tiny letters on its screen even more. Not only that, but I was missing valuable information about the game. My mind couldn't handle email and the Smash Up conversations at the same time. I was exhibiting the same behavior I deplore. There we were, friends and colleagues, and I was tuning out. What rudeness. C never said anything, but I knew that fiddling with the phone wasn't good.
I put the phone away. The messages and emails could wait...not that there were any, anyway. Everything Internet-related could wait. The game and the conversation were what mattered, because they were with people I rarely see face to face. These are people whose advice has helped immeasurably in teaching and being a District Coordinator. They matter. The conversation matters. I unplugged and returned to the game. We would all be leaving before noon and it was best that I not waste our time together.
The temptation to plug in is strong these days. I deleted all the emails from my phone and unsync'd the accounts. There is no need to check them on the phone. Anything important can be done on the iPad or the computer.
It's time to go to school now. Today's goal is to knock down all six classes, prepare for tomorrow, and minimize time spent in front of screens.