Sunday, September 30, 2018

i-Phone Report

 It has been two weeks since I reluctantly joined the i-Phone club and last night, it entered my dreams. Someone was doing some hot body percussion on a big screen and it occurred to me that I could videotape them on my phone so I could learn the routine.

So there you have it. Once these things get into your dreams, you know they are officially a part of you. I’m proud to report that I seem to be holding steady and it hasn’t yet taken over my life in unwelcome ways. And I’ve appreciated some of the following:

Quick response: One motivation for getting it is simply following the mode of communication most people use. If I try to confirm a rehearsal with my band by e-mail, responses can vary from one to three days or never. Yesterday, everyone responded—and I am not making this up—within 10 seconds!!

24/7 photo: Another motivation was to have it handy for special moments in my music class or workshops. Since I’m not teaching right now, haven’t done that yet (except in my dream above!), but have enjoyed taking some photos from the ferry on the way to Larkspur and at the Dahlia Garden close to my house, both situations in which ordinarily I wouldn’t carry a camera.

GPS: I’m a big opponent of the GPS as a dangerous dumbing down of our capacity to navigate through understanding a terrain and knowing how to read maps. I have a bee in my bonnet about the educational fallacy of giving over your power to someone (or something else) and just following directions without deeper understanding. However…I also love taking those tour buses where you just sit and let someone else take over. By not having to think about where to go or what you should see, the mind is freed to notice details or think about other things. So I was quite happy to drive around the always-confusing-to-me Oakland yesterday just following whatever my GPS voice told me to do. (Sometimes she seemed a bit late talking to me and that was interesting! “Come on, talk to me, baby!” I shouted.) In the end, it worked.

• Alarm clock: They have simply stopped making usable analog alarm clocks. Either the ticking is too loud or the tiny piece of plastic to put the alarm on or shut it off is impossible to find or breaks. So I’ve gone the last 5 years or so training my natural alarm clock or asking the hotel clerk for a wake-up call and it has worked out okay. But now feels good to have this option and I used it once and it worked.

Future Paypal/ Lyft: Some young person came to my recent workshop who didn’t carry cash and didn’t have a checking account. So if I have to “follow the money,” Paypal and Venmo are not on my app list. And I still believe in walking, biking, buses and cabs, but if I’m in a pinch, now Lyft is a possibility (haven’t used it yet).

I’m happy to report that since getting the phone, I’ve ridden on buses and not buried my head in the phone, still looked out the window or talked to people (delightful conversation with a 4-year old girl the other day and an older women reading a book who wanted to know what “solipsistic” meant. We had fun trying to guess and then the guy on the other side of me pulled out his i-Phone and we found out we both were wrong. But nice that we had those moments thinking about it.). Haven’t walked down the street looking at it. Went to the Opera and didn’t pull it out right after to see if I missed anything. Still wrote little notes to myself in my little memo book using a pen (though with my occasional shaky handwriting, good to have the electronic notes option). Happy to say I won’t be one of those, “I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it!!!” person breathless with adoration for my little device. Though it has only been two weeks. A year later, that could happen.

That’s the report and in the face of what’s going down in this country now, who cares? But hey, maybe quick and easy texts to Congress on the phone might be a good tool and if that helped stop Kavanaugh, I will be a lifelong i-Phone Devotee.

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