I was away for vacation for awhile and had the chance to meet my nephew, one year old Cormac. He is the only nephew I have and so it was a delight.

Frankly, I was most enamored of his smell. It ranged from wonderfully fresh and almost sublimely non-fragrant to foul (in need of a diaper change).

I spent time with family and felt invigorated by the warmth of it all. My life goes in these odd patterns; at once, I am completely content with my wife in Princeton. Literally, just the two of us aside from the occasional evenings out with our limited (but dedicated) pool of friends.

And then, quite suddenly, I am at the beach surrounded by ten of my family. Playing with Cormac, napping, walking on the beach with my wife (I hate the beach), drinking beer, relaxing. Drifting. Playing endless hours of video games with my brother, who I never feel that apart from even though we are rarely if ever together.

I relaxed only by staring down the boredom. I was faced with people, conversation, the beach. I was faced with Cormac, who simply wants to eat, sleep, drink and crawl. All was good, but for a restless person like myself, it was a tough sell.

So, I am now back in Princeton. Back to my wonderfully clean apartment, back to the lack of chaos, back to us. I am back and still thinking of them and all our disparate locations and of the improbable logic that we all might be together again. I remember that dream back in Korea and it didn’t make much sense then, but it still happened every couple of years or so. Lifetimes and lifetimes hence, that hope will make all the difference.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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