Some people hate them. Some people (like most of my students) love them. Me, I'm kind of ambivalent. As long as the kids aren't playing with them during class time and they stay in backpacks until recess and lunch, I don't really care if the kids have them at school. I kinda don't get the digital pet thing - play with it, feed it, watch it grow - but whatever.
Well, Amanda* is a grade one girl in my class who has one of these things. I'm cracking down on the class time fiddling these days, and I had to take it away from her just before lunch yesterday. I told her she could have it back at the end of the day. She wanted it for lunch time, but I said no, she could have it at the end of the day.
At the end of the day, I made sure the whole class was aware of the Tamagotchi policy: if you are playing with it during class time, it will go live in my desk until Friday. If I take it away Monday, it lives there till Friday. If I take it away Thursday, it lives there till Friday. (I had the urge to use the Italian term "capiche?" but methinks the six and seven year old ESL kids that comprise my entire calss probably wouldn't get that reference, hey?)
Well, guess who had her Tama-whatzit out again today? I swooped in and took it. "You can have it back on Friday." Amanda didn't argue - she knew the drill. But at home time, she looked up and asked me, "Miss Hillary? Will you take my Tamagotchi to your home tonight and feed it?"
"No, I'm sorry, Amada. I'm not going to take it home. It will stay in my desk until tomorrow at home time."
"But if you don't feed it, it will die! And it will poo. You have to clean it up."
I reiterated that it would stay on my desk, and Amanda went home.
So now, it's twenty after four, I'm working on my supply order for next year (OH, there is SUCH a rant brewing there, but it's best I bite my tongue on that one. *takes a moment to seethe*), and the Tamagotchi just started beeping.
I ignored it, and it stopped. For about five minutes.
It beeped again.
I cast a sideways glance at it, thinking of poor Amanda asking me to take her butterfly pet home to feed it. "But if you don't feed it, it will die!"
I picked the thing up and tried to puch a few buttons to see if I could feed the thing. Ugh. I should have paid more attention when she was talking about it at show and tell. I don't know how to work the dumb thing.
And so here I sit, feeling guilty I'm gonna kill a six year old's little pet butterfly. I don't want that digital blood on my hands!
GAK! It beeped again, and now there's a little skull and crossbones on it. I think it's dead!
Ummmmm, good thing there's a reset button. I'll have to show her how to use that one tomorrow...
* name has been changed