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.