What did that doctor call it — text-opathy? The student-teen-20-something texting craze may seem like the usual adolescent obsession with gab, from the telephone to email, but the New York Times story we talked about pointed out the differences: distraction, poor grades, short attention span, sleeplessness, and sore thumbs.
Did you hear Reina Hardesty and her father? She’s the Orange County 13-year-old who sent and received something close to 24,000 text messages in a month. That’s no typo. Her parents have now put limits on her, and she says that frankly, she doesn’t mind. And that’s what we heard from other callers, including a recent high school grad: it’s a bit of a relief not to have to respond to that constant Pavlovian ”pinging.”
Some of you faulted the parents for not establishing limits, and some of you, like Harvey, blogged the sentiment that phone companies have families wrapped around their marketing finger. Angelia’s the mother of two, who blogged that her kids use cell phones for emergencies only. ”They simply don’t have time to send or receive 10,000, 5,000, or even 10 messages a month. They are too busy living real lives.”
LAUSD superintendent Ray Cortines always generates lots of calls and blog comments, and now, especially, with another $135 million in budget cuts coming down on his head, he heard from you about the effect on the school year, the school day, classroom size and teachers.
It doesn’t look good — either at LAUSD or in Sacramento, where the governor and Legislature are making those $5.5 billion in cuts, now that the five budget propositions failed in last week’s election. We’ll be spending a good deal of time tomorrow finding out what will be whacked. So far, the proposals would cut state welfare programs entirely, phase out Cal grants for college students, end health care insurance for a million poor kids, close about 80% of state parks, and cut a year off the sentences of nonviolent offenders.
It’s gonna get ugly — check that, uglier — out there.
— Patt Morrison