Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cell Phones Ringing in Class?

Several years ago, before I had ever heard a student's cell phone ring during class, I decided to implement the following policy: if your phone goes off in class, you must leave class right then. If it's a long class with a break, you may return after the break. So far, it happens very rarely (Let's hear it for announcement and deterrent effects!)

When my younger son, Adam Smith Palmer (aka "physics boy"), taught in Malaysia for a year, the policy at his school was that instructors would confiscate the phones for the rest of the day, and the students had to go to the instructor's office to retrieve the phone.

That policy led me to ponder a new potential policy: if your cell phone rings during my class, I get to use it to call my son (who now lives in Houston). I haven't implemented this policy, yet, but I'm tempted.

Recently, I came across a site that would let me upload a sound clip from my computer to their site and then download it to my phone as a ring tone. I was thinking I might use the finale from Dvorak's New World Symphony. Because some of these sites propagate viruses to cell phones, I'm glad I didn't try it. And what about those exploding cell phones? Click here to read about them.

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