Loving My Internet Connections

Yesterday was a good day. 

As a part time Teacher, I have one day a week off.  I chose Tuesday.  It was an odd choice, I know, but it has actually turned out to be the best day.  It’s a quiet day when everyone else in the family is off doing their thing and I can concentrate on what needs to be done.   I can do laundry, grocery shop, fill my freezer (which is what I did yesterday…fodder for a future post), hit the multiplex for a matinee no one else wants to see, schedule appointments, sew, bake, work on lesson plans, etc.  Tuesday is a good day for me.  And yesterday was better than most.

You see, as an elementary Technology Teacher I must spend my days cautioning children from Kindergarten to fifth grade about internet use.  I must strictly caution them about high tech ‘stranger dangers’ and the flashing availability of ‘inappropriate’ web sites.   I have to restrict their use of easier, faster seach engines because of those web sites.  I have to restrain their natural curiosities – which only serves to whet their appetites – in the interest of ‘internet safety.’   I want my students to be responsible but I also want them to be fearless with the internet.  I teach them the required curriculum….but I don’t have to follow my own instructions.  I am an adult.  Yay!

The internet – and it’s websites  – has been a very lucky thing for me.  And the reason why yesterday was such a good day for me. 

First thing in the morning I logged in to check on some of the blogs that I follow on a regular basis.  I checked out my friend Mary’s blog, The Eleventh, and it put a smile on my face for the entire day.  Mary and I connnected about a year and a half ago because we are Bloggers who are raising daughters with a similar history.  I love reading about Mary and her little Rabbit.  Oops.  I am smiling again.  Then, on a whim, I checked another friend’s blog.  D left barely a week ago for a study abroad semester in Croatia. Our friendship has evolved from fan fiction writing critiques to occasional texting and fandom sharing.  She is young, has the same issues I do with writing implements (I never took an exam or did homework without a clutch of freshly sharpened #2 s on hand…unless you want to count the period when I could only write anything functional with red ink on a yellow legal pad…heh), has a biting sense of humor…and , as she was leaving for Europe, sent me one of her three copies of the recent  ‘Improper Bostonian’ with Maura Tierney on the front cover.  Totally made my day.  Yay!  D has internet service in her host home after all.  Now I can live vicariously through her adventures in Zagreb.

Later in the morning I had a FaceBook chat with another friend – the mom of my daughter’s Kindergarten best friend.  As hard as we tried to keep it, THEIR friendship went by the wayside of different interests and different schools.  But ours didn’t.  We maintain contact through e-mails and a rare phone call. ….and now Face Book, via the internet.  Yesterday we compared ‘notes’ about using cilantro in our recipes and my love affair with canned green chilis.  I slipped a note onto the wall of another ‘friend’, comparing our interest in an actor she has recently worked with.  I also answered a lengthy email with a friend in New York City.  We met on line at an “ER” message board THREE years ago.  Our friendship has evolved way beyond our interest in ‘ER.’  So much so that when I ran away from home last fall to see Maura Tierney in ‘Three Changes’, my friend bought tickets for the same performance and took me out for dinner beforehand.  Our first face to face meeting after two years of emailing each other.  It’s the kind of thing that can make or break an on line long distance friendship.  But our friendship continues.  We live very, very different kind of lives and continue to enjoy hearing what they other is doing….and thinks. 

I sent a long, newsy email to my Mom in Florida.  We hadn’t connected by phone is a while and I enjoy writing when I know she can get it in the same day.  I answered notes that had been sent to me through my work email system from the comfort of my home computer desk.  I checked my bank account and transferred money into a woefully low checking account from the same spot.  I logged into Compassion International to see if there was any news about about the little boy we sponsor in the Dominican Republic.  I opened one of my favorite blogs for recipes, The Pioneer Woman, to doublecheck  something I was planning for dinner.  And I checked in with my friend, Pam, another blogger with whom I share step-parenting issues with.   I checked in on Mary Ellen’s blog….about her adventures with her three little girls that I totally want for my very own.  Seriously.

Later in the day I received an email from a blogger friend with a job I envy.  He and Liz are sending me something…and ‘ER’ surprise.   Needed my snail mail address.  I am very intrigued and very, very suspicious of these two.  : )  I love their wit, their sense of humor and his love of all things Disneyland.  A ‘surprise’?  That one is going to keep me thinking for a while.  I shared that with my sister in South Carolina via an ‘instant message.’  And my last internet task of the day…..to set up another taping of my cable show with the director of the school district’s television studio.  It’s an afternoon ‘shoot’ on the 24th.  I love television production talk.  And I love working out the logistics via emails.

So after a day’s worth of internet and web activities I am still smiling.  And preparing to go back to school and caution my students about the ‘dangers’ of the internet and being responsible.

Naw.  I think we will ‘play’ today.  There is www.freerice.com and www.spellingcity.com and www.coolmath4kids.com to contend with.

Thanks to the internet.

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3 Comments on “Loving My Internet Connections”

  1. Mary Says:

    Rabbit has shown that jacket to EVERYONE. One of my youth group kids came over and she was showing her the jacket, and Jaimee said “She’ll never forget that as long as she lives!”

  2. Mary Ellen Says:

    What a great day!!
    Speaking of internet safety, I happened to be at a school event earlier this week — Walter Dean Myers was speaking at an alternative school. (Do you know him? YA author?) Anyway, while I was there, I met this woman who teaches internet safety in our county. She said she was online the other day and she got an IM from a stranger! And she says, “Who is this?” And it turns out to be a 9-year-old girl using the computer in her elementary school’s library (the other teacher was on that teacher’s IM list…) and then the girl tells this total stranger (the internet safety expert) her name, her school and her school’s address. Ack!! I guess they need more lessons…

  3. Pam/Wordgirl Says:

    Is the internet amazing in that way? I think the very same things — how, for W, I am so vigilant about what he’s doing, ‘protecting him’ from the worst of it while wanting to nurture the ability to find the best — because the connection you can receive is really amazing!

    I hope the rest of your days were good days too!

    XO

    Pam


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