Thursday evening, walking out of school, I turned on my phone to find not one, not two, but THREE phone messages from Kamari, getting progressively more urgent as they went along.
Hi Ms. Sarah, this is Kamari. I wanted to talk to Ms. Sarah to tell her that I'm going to do my spelling tonight. I'll turn it in tomorrow.
Alright, call back on this number: 202 555...555-3748. Thank you and hope you have a wonderful day.
A few minutes later, message 2:
Hey Ms. Sarah, it's Kamari. I wanted to speak to Ms. Sarah about decimals and um...the question...um, I mean--not decimals, I mean like spelling. I'm going to do them today.
Call back when you get this message. 202 555-3748. Thank you. Have a wonderful day.
For something that was essentially a non-question, he was really eager to get in touch. Yes, Kamari. If you didn't do your spelling homework last night, just do it tonight and turn it in tomorrow. We had been over this before.
By his last message, Kamari was sounding more like a sailor captured by pirates, making a furtive and desperate call for help than an eight year old confused about an assignment. A very urgent message 3 was left entirely in a rushed whisper as Kamari struggled to get out his plea before the pirates realized he was contacting the outside world.
Ms. Sarah, this is Kamari. CallBackOnThisNumber2025553748. Bye.
I finished listening to all of the calls and got in my car to drive home. On the way, who should ring me up but the message leaver himself.
Hi Ms. Sarah, this is Kamari.
Kamari--you are calling me TOO much.
Yeah, I really had to ask you a question about the homework...
I added up the number of times Kamari had called. Seven calls in two days? Why all of a sudden so many? The homework hadn't suddenly spiked in difficulty. In fact, it is the same weekly spelling assignment Kamari has had for a year and a half.
Ah. Yes. Kamari had turned eight the previous week. And what did he get for his birthday? Oh yeah. A CELL PHONE.