Living and working in the rolling mountains of Vermont is a bucolic pleasure. Especially this time of year when the foliage is approaching full autumnal splendor. But the hills and hollows wreak a special havoc on cell phone communication. I work as a Literacy Coach in six schools, in a district that covers a cool 460 square miles. As I am rarely at my home desk, email or my cell phone are the best way to reach me…well, sort of. Yesterday, a reading specialist from a school not so far away as a crow flies, but a meandering journey over hill and dale by car, asked to connect via phone. In the room at the school where I was scheduled and have a “visiting” office, I have sometimes received messages on my phone, so I thought I was set. The time my colleague said she would call passed. Then a message popped up. I tried to return the call. It dropped. She called back as I was walking through the hall to find better reception. Awkward, as the staff meeting had just focused on cell phone use…for students, but still, we need to model the good behavior we expect. I had to ask the secretary for a district phone book, a lovely lady who was busier than usual as it was picture day and she was flying solo. I remade the call from the staffroom landline and it went to voicemail. I emailed to see if we might try a Google Hangout-but my colleague’s little school has a cranky internet connection. It was in a mood already today.
I do remember when I moved here from the West Coast, I felt like I had moved to Mayberry (as in the fictitious TV town set in a time when things were kinder, simpler, quieter, and slower). Experiences like this reaffirm that I have. And it is ok with me.