Nobody Calls Me Anymore

I am getting fewer and fewer phone calls at my office nowadays.   My telephone number is published on the syllabus and on the class website and I continually urge students to “give me a ring” if they have a question or a problem, but the phone never rings and the red light never blinks.  In the current Atlantic magazine (May 2012) Stephen Marche states in “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” that “our omnipresent new technologies” – I would include texting as well as facebook – help us avoid the “mess of human interaction.”  That is precisely it.  My students seem to be more comfortable with the extra distance that texting and facebooking imposes on them.  They seem less comfortable with direct contact.  I get few office visits or even emails from them.  Right now I neither text or facebook.  I think I have got figure texting out.  Is there a texting system that goes to email?  Was that a dumb or naive or clueless question?


About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
This entry was posted in Classroom Happenings, Popular Press Explorations, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nobody Calls Me Anymore

  1. Troy Clayton says:

    I just wanted to leave a comment because I am one of your students and I just so happened to call you earlier today to ask for help. I thought it was an odd coincidence that I happen to be reading your blog and see this post. I just wanted to let you know that I was a bit reluctant to call for a few reasons, even though you encourage us to. One reason was that I thought you may be busy, or I may be intruding. I was also a bit intimidated because I didn’t want to disturb you with a stupid question. I’m glad that I did call because you were very patient and helpful and I appreciate that very much. I couldn’t tell you why others are not calling more often for help. I just thought I would give a little bit of input as to why I was reluctant to call and let you know that I was glad I did. Also, I know it’s possible to link your email to text messaging. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have text messages sent to email. Your cell phone provider could probably tell you how. I do agree that people seem to be more comfortable these days with text messaging, rather than actual contact, or even a phone call. Students may seek help more if they have a texting option because I think that there are a lot of people who may feel that a text message is less intrusive. Some people may feel more comfortable with sending a quick text that says “Hey, are you busy? I have a question for you.”

  2. Todd Campbell says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your premise that technology is having an impact on the was we interact. At least some of us, I am too prefer the face to face contac tand talking directly to people. Truth be told your class is presented in a way that doesn’t require many offfice visits. I could only wish other proffessors had the organization and presentation skills you display so well.

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