Friday, March 9, 2012

SPS Teacher's Conference and Hondurans and their Phones

Kristen says...

This is going to be a random post, but I guess it's ok to have one of those now and then... :)

I'm in San Pedro Sula today, my first time in the city (except when we were here for a little over an hour dropping my parents off at the airport when they flew back to the states). I was here to present at a Teacher's Conference at one of the local international schools. It was a very nice conference, actually very similar to Discovery's conference, (and, from what I can understand, was actually started as a sort of "north-coast" version of our conference--our logo was even on the nametag and information booklet) and I learned a lot. I was only able to attend for a day, because, well, let's be honest, I've missed a lot of school lately, but it worked out well. Two other teachers from Discovery and I left Teguc just after school yesterday and arrived before 9:00 last night.

I presented my "Teacher Created Games" presentation, which is based on using games you might already have in your classroom to introduce information or review for a quiz...if you're a teacher and want to know more I'll be happy to share information with you; if not, don't worry, I'm moving on... :) I also got to attend an interesting session about using historical simulations with students, and a round-table type discussion about teaching social studies. History nerd's paradise, friends. :)

One of the really funny things about today was that I saw someone I knew back in the day in Honduras! As Chris said when I called and told him, "I knew there would be an Iowa 'thing' someday...I guess today was the day." Basically, one of the teachers at the school here in SPS and Chris and I used to be in the same community theater group in Oskaloosa...what a small world! :)

Anyway, that is not what I wanted to blog about...what I wanted to blog about was an observation that I've had many, many times since moving to Honduras, but have never found it "ridiculous" enough to blog about until now...

Hondurans are obsessed with their cell phones.

It's like an SNL skit I'm convinced I've seen (but can't seem to find on YouTube) where they surgically attach phones to your hand or ear so you never have to stop talking...or in many Honduran's cases, talking or texting.

It's such an issue that we've had to have meetings at school about teachers using phones during class (although to be honest, that's not a Honduran problem, that's a CrackBerry problem! I like to check mine too!)

But seriously, EVERYONE here has a cell phone, and EVERYONE here seems to have their cell phone out all the time! Our "guards" outside the apartment are constantly texting and messing with their phones. I have seen Honduran police officers directing traffic and talking on the phone. At a store today I saw a woman leaning on her broom in the middle of an aisle, half of the aisle wet, half dirty, texting away like she had nothing better to do.

Oh, and today, while I took a half-hour lap swim in the hotel pool to work off the pinchos I had for "lunch," I saw a guy leading a swim team practice while talking on his phone. Seriously. I can only imagine the confusion/annoyance of the person on the other end of the line when the guy he was conversing with kept interrupting to yell, "Chicos, go!"

Hahahahahaha! Super funny!

But yet, super silly, too! I mean really, you can't wait an hour or whatever amount of time your swim practice lasts to have a phone call? I mean, I guess my crazy old swim coach used to slip out during long swims to smoke a cigarette, but that's an addiction...and he was crazy. This guy looked pretty sane, and pretty attached to his mobile.

I mean, even today during my presentation, I had at least 2 of the 23 attendees on their phone for part of the hour and a half session...and our Spanish tutor takes an average of 2 calls during each 2-hour tutoring session.

We were watching Bloomberg the other day (ok, Chris was watching it and I was in the kitchen and thus couldn't avoid hearing what was going on) and they were interviewing a guy from Google who was talking about the fact that the mobile is the first computer most people in developing countries will ever have...I wonder if this is part of the mobile-mania I am noticing in Honduras?

Or maybe I'm just out of there a cell phone mania in the States these days to match the dedication I'm seeing in Honduras? Have you seen any swim team coaches chatting away while simultaneously leading a practice? Or is this an example of a Honduran obsession with their new technology like that Google guy said?

Interesting stuff...thanks for sticking with me :)

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