Sunday, November 20, 2011

Important.

Once we stop laughing, I'll ask her what's important.
It's terribly important that you read this blog.  Really it is.  No really, I set out here the most important facts and perspectives on the most important issues of our planet.  Still not convinced?  Me neither.  If you tell me something is important, then I won't hear the next word.  I'll be changing the subject.

'Important' is becoming my most despised word.  Mostly I think this is partly due to the school systems of the UK and US.  Everything's important - but clearly it can't be.  It's important to remember that our children can only use 'Free Dress Passes' on Monday and Wednesday.  It's important to bring our recycling to school on Wednesday so that our children understand the importance of recycling (though please only bring the recycling that the school will be paid money for).  It is important to instill in our children a pattern of behavior to make their homework become more of a way of life and a Pavlovian reaction to evening.  It's important, though, not to place too much importance on homework as we need to keep our perspective on making learning fun and inspiring...

Quite recently I was at a conference where a speaker gave a list of 'Important Things To Consider.'  What a crock of....  Tell me what you think is important, and then I'll consider it.... perhaps. ;-)

I could continue to write lists of things that aren't important, but that would be inflammatory and somewhat dull and negative.  So instead I'll tell you something that's important to me.

We moved our family 5,000 miles from our families in the UK and right from the start we suffered the effect of the distance.  Lynn's mum died very soon after we arrived.  Skype has been keeping us in touch with most of our family and friends...well the one's who want to see us!  But that's no good for my 87 year old Gran, she's never used a computer and struggles with the DVD player.

So when the iPad 2 came out with its front facing camera and FaceTime software, I figured that maybe she would be able to use that.  Everyone in my family that I mentioned it to (except Lynn) told me that she'd never be able to use it, and that I'd be wasting money if I bought her one.

I ignored the naysayers.  What the f**k, I'll have that iPad if she can't use it.  Sorry for swearing Gran, but being as you don't have a computer....you'll never know!  So I bought one, and with a few swipes of a finger or two I hid every icon that wasn't Facetime.  And so when we went back to the UK in August, I took the iPad with me for my Gran.  She was scared, but under careful, click-by-click instruction at my Aunt's house, she managed to set up and answer calls.  So I left it with her.

It took a while for an internet DSL connection to be set up in my Gran's apartment and then we had to wait for my Aunt to travel the 200 miles to visit and set up the iPad to connect... but (ironically about a week after Steve Jobs died) my Gran called!

Now we see each other every week, we get to share smiles and my kids get to act up in front of their Great Grandmother.  'Gi-Gi', as we call her (she's pretended to be 23 years old throughout my entire life and so clearly can't be called Great Grandmother),  isn't well enough to come to see us here and for that I feel robbed.  But thanks to the wonders of technology, geeks and some bloody-mindedness we have Gi-Gi close again.

Unfortunately, she is now talking about taking some computer lessons at her local library.  So I may have to consider keeping my language a little cleaner.... and I wonder if I should have mentioned that I was taking a picture for my blog?