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I'm a high school teacher, and my school just banned cellphones in the classroom. Even the students are happy about it.

Teachers want what's best for their students. As such, over the past two decades, educators have spent so much time thinking about how to help kids manage their cellphone use in school. From incorporating them into lessons like any other helpful tech device to stapling them inside brown paper bags when they're misused to doling out points based on a student's ability to keep their phones locked during class time, trust me, teachers have tried just about everything to help young people create healthy boundaries with their phones.

And yet, despite these best efforts, teachers widely report that off-task student cellphone use remains a daily frustration, especially in buildings where there is no school-wide policy.

So, as one of these teachers, when I got the summer email from administrators announcing that — like 77% of other US schools, according to a 2020 National Center for Education Statistics report — our high school would implement a no-cell-phones-in-the-classroom policy starting in the fall, I was both nervous and relieved.

I've seen how dependent kids are on phones
Nervous because a lot has happened since that 2020 report. During the pandemic, phones went from being largely off-limits in the classroom to being essential modes of staying connected. This was a major cultural shift.

Since then, I've watched my students become increasingly reliant on their phones, not just to stay connected academically and socially but also to fill the smallest moments of pause, boredom, or challenge in class, regardless of the myriad ways my colleagues and I construct lessons to keep them engaged. I knew we'd receive pushback from students and their parents, some of whom would undoubtedly experience the policy as one that impinged on their personal freedoms and might cause a kind of separation anxiety.

But I also felt relieved because something needed to be done. Forget the need to pay attention during a grammar lesson. I'm talking about times when a student's best friend would be sitting right next to them, wanting to spill the tea about Taylor Swift or Lebron James' sons, and still whatever was on that student's phone was more interesting or more consistent at delivering an endorphin rush, or was simply less socially demanding.

Turns out boundaries are hard for teenagers
Our school's response was this policy: upon entering a classroom, students place their cell phones in numbered caddies, where they leave them until the end of class. If a student doesn't do this and refuses to after being asked, the teacher doesn't take their phone — avoiding that liability — but instead alerts admin, who then collects the phone, keeps it for the rest of the day, and — for repeat offenders — involves parents.

The key component, both our administrators and teachers kept highlighting, was that this was a school-wide policy: every adult in the building would handle phones in the same way, and every student in the building would know what was expected of them. We would be united. Not against cellphones, but for a type of learning environment with fewer distractions and, therefore, more opportunities to discover what can happen in a classroom when moments of pause are expected and viewed as chances to connect with the living, breathing people next to you, or — wait for it — to think for yourself.

It's been 1 month, and it's been so positive
What has happened since has been positive in almost every way. There were some loud groans from seniors and hardly any pushback from freshmen. After one month of the policy, I asked my students to reflect on it, and their overwhelming responses went something like this:

"I like it because it helps me connect more with my friends, and it limits distractions."

"It does help students engage. I find the caddies a little unnecessary because my phone is totally fine just turned off in my backpack. However, it makes class a lot more enjoyable without distractions."

"It's helped me not be as reliant on it."

Look, I know these kinds of policies don't work in every school. For some, there's not enough teacher buy-in or consistent admin support. For some, they're a liability issue. For some, the parent pushback is fierce. For some, it's philosophical.  All I can tell you is that, this year, so far, it's not just the teachers who are relieved. Students are too. And it's my belief that a little relief from the demands of our hyper-connected world is something we, as adults, should offer our kids while we can.

Pro Sports Discussion / Re: Official Silver & Black Thread
« on: Today at 02:08:56 PM »
Poor decision on McDaniel's part at the end there, kicking a FG instead of going for it on fourth and 4 from Pittsburgh's 8-yard line with 2 minutes left.

With the second highest salary cap money on the offense in the NFL and he has no faith in the offense to pick up 4 yards?  ???

Pro Sports Discussion / Re: NFL TALK
« on: Today at 02:03:26 PM »
Could've gone for the most points record but Fins coach said, no:

Dolphins’ Mike McDaniel explains why he didn’t go for NFL points record

The embarrassment would have been worse for the Broncos if Miami had set the scoring record, but McDaniel didn't want to be chasing points in a game where his team had already scored 70. "It felt like chasing points and chasing a record -- that's not what we came to the game to do," McDaniel said.


Squatters turning Florida neighborhood into 'nightmare' as cops left 'handcuffed': Report

Residents of a neighborhood in Winter Park, Florida, say squatters have created a "nightmare" situation and have not been evicted citing how the police department is "handcuffed" from doing anything. "It's been a nightmare," Winter Park resident Justin Mielcarek told WFTV 9.

5 there so meh... ???:

America's growing obesity epidemic: 3 charts explain obesity rates across the US

New report shows obesity rates topping 35% or more in 22 states

Which states have the highest rates of adult obesity?

These states have the highest obesity prevalence among adults (35% or higher):













North Dakota



South Carolina

South Dakota




West Virginia


Minnesota is right there too in terms of percentage...

Interacting map in link below:

...looks  ???:

30 year old nurse gave herself liposuction but ended up killing herself

A woman has died after attempting to perform a liposuction procedure on herself. The victim, who was identified only as Carina, was a 30-year-old nurse at a south-central facility in Mexico called Clinica Amper.

A hospital chaplain reveals the two things people worry about on their deathbeds

Leaving loved ones behind. As well as having regrets about the past, Park said that his patients also worry about the future. He said they have almost an "empathic anticipatory grief," where "the dying person vicariously experiences how their own death will be experienced by their remaining loved ones.

These guys just finished theirs:

Here's a better shot at the bridge from this sample photo:

"Bret Hart's wife, Stephanie Washington is 26 years younger than him"

Why Are Jeannie Mai and Jeezy Getting Divorced? Updates Following Their Split After 2 Year Marriage

The duo wasn't in agreement when it came to “certain family values and expectations,” a source told Entertainment Tonight on September 19. “They had different views, and each felt like their needs weren't being completely met,” the insider explained.

12 it goes  ???:

San Jose Vietnamese restaurant's 'automatic 18% service charge’ for solo diner goes viral

Reddit user u/TRTL2k shared a picture of their receipt from Vietnamese restaurant Pho Ha Noi in Cuptertino, California, on the subreddit r/mildlyinfuriating on Sept. 13. The post has received over 24,000 upvotes and more than 4,900 comments since it was first shared.

What happened: The picture shows that the Reddit user was automatically billed an 18% service charge, which is presumably the establishment’s policy, as can be read on the bottom of the receipt: “18% Service Charge Included. For parties of one or larger, a(sic) 18% gratuity is applied automatically. If you have any questions, please speak with a manager.”

How much they paid: The total amount u/TRTL2k paid for their meal was only $49.50, but because of the sales tax, which is listed at 9.125% ($4.52) and the 18% service charge ($8.91), the Reddit user had to cough up a total of $62.93, which was $13.43 more than their meal.

Surprised by the receipt: In the post, u/TRTL2k noted that they have “seen restaurants include gratuity when it’s a large party but never for parties of one.”

How people reacted: Many Reddit users criticized the establishment for its automatic billing of a service fee, with the top comment, which has received over 9,500 upvotes, reading, “For parties of 1 or larger? What a convoluted way of saying everybody is charged 18%.”

... so do the right thing and resign and pay for your deeds:

Gov. Murphy and other New Jersey Democrats call on Sen. Menendez to resign over bribery charges

Pro Sports Discussion / Re: Official Silver & Black Thread
« on: September 24, 2023, 11:35:35 PM »
Down to second place in a weak division now. Gotta take care of the games we should win like today's game at home.. :-\

Probably the best news for Chubb since the injury:

Browns: Nick Chubb suffers only torn MCL; given extremely positive recovery timeline

Nick Chubb knee injury: Tests reveal Browns RB tore only MCL, recovery timeline 6-8 months, per report. Not only did the Cleveland Browns suffer their first defeat of the season Monday night, but they also lost the heart and soul of their offense.

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