When I was in high school, we smoked at the school entrance. And we did not smoke alone. We smoked with the teachers. Sometimes teachers borrowed cigarettes from us.
I remember that after a long-term illness, the Lithuanian language teacher organized a regular visit of a friend with gifts which we left behind our friend’s doors.
There were groups, meetings, where we discussed about politics, art, life, or whatever you want with the teachers.
I have never seen anything like that in my children’s lives. True, I had to visit the police a couple of times ten years ago, when my daughter and her classmates were fined for smoking in a public place.
Until a decade ago, university communities were also close, connected by friendships, with ongoing discussions between faculty and scholars, and discussions at someones’ home over a glass of wine. Students were also active in these meetings.
There was communion, warmth, relationship.
The tips on “how to prepare a feast for guests in the event of an unexpected visit” now also seem funny, because guests have not intruded anyone unexpectedly for a long time.
And when was the last time when I heard a child inviting a friend to go outside below a balcony? I cannot even remember such a thing. Faded times, reminiscent of fresh, carefree summers.
Where is all this now?
No, COVID did not take it away. Someone else has distracted and ruined it. Who is it?
Well, no smoking, no drinking for minors. We all understand that. If that happens – it happens in secret.
It is also not advisable for teachers to communicate with students. The limits cannot be exceeded.
Lecturers with students are probably similar. You can be accused: no, not #metoo (of course, that too), but protectionism, injustice, so it is better to stay away from such dangers.
And where are the teacher’s communities? Disbanded by competition, differences of opinion, and perhaps lack of time? Today, loved ones lack time, not to mention colleagues.
I will not say anything new; I think the relationship has been taken away by technology that has hopelessly invaded our lives and started the engine of urgency. 24/7, we work on devices: we divide time into minutes, correspond, respond to e-mails, get nervous, read news from several sources.
Guests will not intrude unexpectedly as they can call by mobile phone or notify in advance via SMS. Yes, every minute counts. Reluctantly, we are arrogant and expressive: “For You, dear colleague, I will have time for a cup of coffee in a month, on June 30th. 9 p.m. – forty-five minutes. ”
I read it again. Forty-five minutes. That is a lot.
Dr. Alisa Miniotaitė is a management and leadership expert, founder of UAB ALISA MANAGEMENT LABORATORY, Leadership Program Manager at ISM University of Management and Economics, certified ICC coach for the Baltic countries.