This morning at 9 a.m. I showed a co-worker some of my photos on Flickr. Five minutes ago, at about 11:50 a.m., I attempted to show another co-worker the same pictures and discovered that in that not-quite three hour period, Flickr had been “blocked” by my school district’s watchdog/big brother filter. Why? Because the site’s content (“hobbies/personal interest”) is not appropriate for the school setting.
And yet. Yesterday during 1st period Principal interrupted class with about 10 minutes remaining of the block to make some “good news” announcements. Among her exaltations of students who have been accepted to college or scored during the recent lacrosse/soccer/baseball game was an invitation to a party at the local elementary school to support Matt Daugh*rty, the Americ*n Id*l finalist who is from this community. She went on for a good three minutes about Matt Daugh*rty, where his kids go to school and where he works, how we should all be proud to have an Americ*n Id*l finalist from McLeansv*lle, how much fun it would be to attend this party, and how if we all show up and “make a lot of noise” the Americ*n Id*l film crew might come and tape us and put us on TV. What does it say about the world we live in when I can’t show a colleague a picture of my goddaughter on Flickr, but it’s okay for Principal to take up class time to talk about reality television over the PA system?
It’s only a matter of time before I won’t be able to access Blogger and AOL from work. I don’t really do much blogging and personal emailing during the school day, but it’s nice to have the option should time allow, and even nicer to know that contact with sane people is possible, virtual though it may be. If they take away my connection to the outside world there’s a good chance I’ll just throw myself off the deep end that inches closer and closer the longer I work here. I’m sure there will be pictures, but you won’t be able to see them thanks to the Flickr ban. But don’t worry, just watch Americ*n Id*l. It’s a small town; I’m sure you’ll be able to hear the sirens in the background.