Ahh, the Smart Phone. It has really become a part of my life. It’s a love – try-not-to-be-too-dependent relationship. 

I am not the most coordinated individual. Yes, I am teaching art and drama, but no, I would not put it past me to fall off of a stage. Case in point:  last year in drama class, I tried to show students how to make a globe into anything but a globe. I thought it could be a chair. I accidentally sat on it. Yes it broke. I’m pretty sure they all remember…

A little worse for wear

So my phone has had its share of mishaps. Two years ago, it was stolen while I was in Mexico on a youth trip. It was then recovered by a lovely Mexican lady whose faith outshone her fear. It was a little worse for wear, but it worked. 

A few months later, my angry toddler threw it out of the bike trailer as we returned to our campsite. When we found it again, it had been run over. By a car.

We found someone who could repair it. The camera was broken as well and had to be fixed. I use that camera! If you are on Facebook with ACS you have probably seen some of my photos. It documents our personal lives, and the work my students do. So it was needed. 

Just so you know…

But the selfie cam was broken. You know, the side of the camera that can take a picture of you while you are still looking at the screen. I couldn’t justify the cost to fix it. Yes, my children miss the opportunity to take countless photos of themselves making ridiculous faces. Yes, I occasionally think it may be nice to put a selfie on Facebook. Then I think about how nice it is to focus out from time to time.

So now and then, I hand my phone to a student, say when we are on a field trip, or building tents for Newcastle Island in the school field, or when a student is finished their art project before everyone else. I say, “Take some pictures. Document the class. Just so you know, the selfie-cam doesn’t work.”

Sometimes they try it. I know because the camera completely freezes, and the phone has to be shut down. But what happens when we turn the camera away from ourselves for a bit? Beauty! A chance to appreciate what is out there, in our classroom, in our friends, in creation. 

Yes, I think the selfie-cam can be a way to introspect a bit. And I love the photos my distant friends are able to post of themselves. But, more and more, I love to see what my iPhone camera can find, without its selfie-cam. And I love to see what my students can find.

See for yourself.