Many of my students giggle when I use the word 'television.' Some even look lost because they don't know I am referring to a TV, their lifeblood. I get a similar reaction when I say the word 'telephone.' Inevitably, a student will repeat the word with a snicker “telephone...” Yes,they love to point out how antiquated I am when I spew references to old trends they know nothing about, or use seemingly old fashioned words like 'folks' and 'hoity-toity.' I'm sure you can imagine my pupil's shock and awe the day I produced a gadget in my classroom that most of them had never seen before. ('Pupil' is yet another giggle inducer, in case you were wondering...).
No, the gadget I showed them was not a cotton gin...and no, it wasn't a Ouija board. It was an electric typewriter! There was a palpable energy in the room as I set the margins and scrolled a sheet of computer paper through its roller. By then the crazed crowd was chanting, “Plug-it-in. Plug-it-in.” Cheers erupted as the plug met the outlet and a beeping sound indicated that it had been turned on. I then proceeded to do my best Lucille Ball imitation of a secretary, typing away for about twenty seconds. The energy in the room reached an all-time high when I ripped the paper from the machine and held up a sheet full of gibberish that was then passed around the room so each student could ooh and ah over the relic they now held in their hands. Oh, the things that impress twelve and thirteen-year-olds. Then again, isn't anything that distracts the teacher and wastes a few minutes of class time usually considered a worthwhile wonder?
Lucille Ball (August 6, 1911– April 26, 1989) was an influential American comedian who starred in popular self-named sitcoms of the 1950s.
Ouija boards have been around since 1890, scaring the crap out of young girls attending slumber parties by spelling out messages from the devil himself.
Thirteen-year-olds are small humans whose brains have been pruned to the point where they (seemingly) no longer have one.