I can’t think of a profession where making eye contact is more important than the teaching profession. I know that politicians pretend but I think we know they use a teleprompter or speaking notes.
With teaching, you’re constantly scanning the room to see who is paying attention, who is doodling, who is chatting with their neighbour, who is doing homework for someone else’s class, who is cheating during a test, and … the list goes on and on. It’s a valuable skill and you get better at it over the years. You don’t even have to look straight on – looking out of the side of your eye is a valuable skill.
I still liked direct 1 to 1 eye contact when it works.
It’s now a skill that I used 3 or 4 times a day while walking Jaimie. Warning – this is going to turn into a rant.
We live on a country road that looks like this sometimes. The speed limit is 80km/h so you know that people go 90 or 100 or more.
When it’s nice and quiet like this, we stroll along looking around to see what’s up.
When traffic is oncoming, we lean a little more to the left on the gravel as we face the cars and trucks. Many of those approaching are courteous and will move over if they can to give us lots of room or slow down. I appreciate it and give them a wave. Jaimie will look at me, wondering who I’m waving to. He’s got the looking out of the side of his eye down pat.
Making eye contact with the oncoming car is important and I do it for all of them. You can see most of them looking back at us like they taught us in Driver’s Education and moving over to be nice.
It’s the ones that I can’t make eye contact with that get to me. Sadly, it’s typically not that they’re looking around at the nice weather but they’re looking down at their phones! Twice this morning, Jaimie and I had to bail to the far left because the car seemed to be drawn directly to us like a magnet. It happens more times than I can count. Only once did we actually have to go right into the ditch and get our paws wet. That was scary.
It’s against the law in Ontario and the penalties are pretty severe.
If only I could make a citizen’s arrest. I would hate to think what might happen should I not make that eye contact and react accordingly.
Despite all that, there’s one scenario that’s even worse and there’s nothing that I can do.
It happens when we’re walking and there are two cars coming from behind. You just don’t see them until they’re alongside. The first car is generally no problem because they’re a lane away. It gets worse when the car behind wants to pass and pulls to the left lane to go flying by. We’ve felt the breeze more than once. Maybe I should buy one of those rearview mirrors that you see bicyclists use.
Anyway, thanks for reading my rant and remember this …