But I'm not keen on all that go with the devices, chief among them their cellular phone ring tones. Those are always not rings at all, of course, but a portion of a modern song. I find myself once a week or so asking them to please silence the devices, to mute them upon entering class, and to utilize the device's vibrate feature for the duration of class.
But at times the music comes through, and my young charges are nearly always apologetic. I've stopped making a fuss over the momentary intrusion.
On the contrary. A few weeks ago a song came on that I found I enjoyed quite a bit. The student scrambled through his pockets to find the device, but by that time I was already humming along to a tune that I later found out was by the Bruno Mars, entitled "Grenade." The relevant passage that I heard was: "I would catch a grenade for you. I would put my hand on the blade for you. I would jump in front of a train for you." It was actually a rather fervent and sincere protestation of love, and I, Yaro, am nothing if not one who values love.
So I made a remark that if all the ring tones in class were tuned to the Bruno Mars that I would let them leave their phones on during class. They of course knew this was hyperbole, but it brought us all a chuckle nonetheless.
The result, however, of my brush with the modern music revealed itself this morning, as a handful of my students presented me with a shiny and delightful (used, of course) 8 gigabyte iPod Touch, filled with songs that they imagined I might look favorably on. Of course the Bruno Mars is on there, and countless other groups and solo performers, all with 3-5 songs of their catalogs.
It was a very kind gesture on the part of my students. They even provided a new pair of the ear buds, so that I now have the appearance of a younger man, what with the white cords falling casually over my belly to the gleaming silver device in my pocket. I am sure I am the talk of the faculty lounge.
At this moment I am enjoying a delightful song by the Fergie that I like very much.