We had two assemblies at Kevin’s neighborhood school, K – 3rd grade, with his daughter Jordan in the front. We did okay but a major kerfuffle occurred in the first set, causing much pain and embarrassment for Kevin and myself. I perhaps overreacted to what I thought was inappropriate for an elementary assembly.
There was small girl in the front row with a hand-held video/smart phone device filming us as we were playing. Half way through the show, I asked her to turn it off, thinking it was taking away from her appreciation of a LIVE show. She was obviously startled, and passed the device to her teacher, and we went on.
Seeing how she was upset, I managed to arrange a chat with her and the teacher as kids filed out. It was then I found out that the teacher videos assemblies for the school’s ‘TV’ channel. I apologized and the teacher told her that it wasn’t her fault.
When I got back home, Kevin wrote me a scathing email, telling me I was totally out of line, that he was embarrassed for me, the band, the PTA and the little girl, in his community. Point well taken. I have to loosen up.
This all brings up my rationalizations.
First, the teacher should have asked permission, or at least informed us that he was taping the show. I would have understood the situation. There is a unwritten protocol for artists and their art. But this is, to me, a minor point.
My reaction comes from the current use of tech devices that separate us from each other, to the detriment of human, interpersonal communications. I felt that the student was more intent on the video than on the performance and educational aspects that make the show worthwhile.
I see people walking together down the street, side by side, and not interacting with each other, but with a device in their hands. I scratch my head and wonder where the interpersonal relationship is. I guess I’m a old fuddy duddy.
I’ve barely survived raising two teens in a household filled with SCREENS: TV, computer, smart phones, etc. Whenever I asked for attention, called for dinner, asked about chores, there was a quantifiable lag in response, as I was obviously causing a major disruption and inconvenience in their lives. The disrespect for me was very depressing, and not what I would have done to my parents. I also had little support from my wife.
I expect presence when I deal with people. Too bad I expect too much sometimes.
I hope to repair the damage with Kevin. I feel awful.