I cleaned out a couple of drawers and a cabinet today; that's not what this blog post is about, but I always feel good when I can report that I am winning waging the a war against clutter. Okay, well, indirectly the cleaning spurt leads to the subject matter of this post. These are my own earbuds, discovered amidst a tangle of cords for various electronic devices we no longer own. I am happy for the rediscovery; although, I admit, I hardly ever use these. Anyway... back to the subject. Yesterday I was running errands in the late afternoon and had the misfortune of being behind a school bus as it stopped at each and every side street and driveway. The students disembarking appeared to be middle school age. Without exception, each student stepped off the bus loaded down with a backpack the size of a Mini Cooper, full of books I would assume, with earbuds in their ears. Not one student was in conversation with another. Some of these bus stops let off six or seven 12-14 year olds at one time, each one was in their own little world. Plugged in, music or phone, straight to individual brains. I wondered, through this observation, when interpersonal skills are learned. I can't help but think that this isn't a good thing; not for them now, not for their futures. Am I wrong? Maybe I am. Perhaps I am way off base. By virtue of the fact that I am blogging about this to readers whom I may never meet, or speak with in person, I am likely guilty of the same false reality. I can't help but think, though, that if the students whom I observed yesterday pulled out those earbuds, lifted their faces from the ground and actually SPOKE with their neighbors and fellow students (let alone listened to the birds singing and happy sounds of children running and playing around them) how much richer their daily lives would be.