Twenty things about school my son will tell his kids

Daniel, 2012In May my son will be 5 years old. In the year 2043 he will be my age as it is now, and quite possibly by then he will have kids, perhaps even a 5-year-old of his own. When he reminisces about school, with what stories will he bore his unbelieving kids?

1. “My parents had to drive me to school themselves. Both ways!”

2. “My parents had to hold our hands when we crossed the road – otherwise we’d get run over by a car or bus. Yes, cars and buses would routinely kill kids!”

3. “School was always in the local neighbourhood – I never remember getting to go to another country for school. Or the moon, for that matter.”

4. “We had to gather in a classroom together with a random bunch of other kids – the only reason we were together was because we shared the same birth year.”

5. “We had one teacher and one assistant for a class of 20 kids. Only the ‘special’ kids got one-on-one teachers.”

6. “The teachers had to do a lot of training before they could teach. They had to go to school for 12 years, and then university for at least 3 years!”

7. “Yes, we had computers. But, your grandfather – at your age, he didn’t even know what a computer was!”

8. “I was required to learn to use a mousepad. No, it was just a smooth piece of plastic that knew where your fingers were.”

9. “Not all the screens could be touched.”

10. “No, the computers didn’t know how to teach us. We had to work it out for ourselves.”

11. “I was required to draw letters, words and numbers with a pencil, on paper.”

12. “The paper was dumb – it didn’t have autocorrect, couldn’t upload, and to re-use it we’d either scrape the pencil marks off with an eraser, or throw it in the recyclebin.”

13. “The recyclebin was just a container, it didn’t do anything – they had to send all the rubbish away to special recycling centers.”

14. “We had to memorize the spelling of each and every word! (Mind you, it was only for one language – English – but there were literally thousands of words to memorize!)”

15. “We only had to learn one language other than English: Japanese. And we called it a ‘foreign language’.”

16. “Almost all the kids at school had white skin. See this photo? This is how light my skin was when I was your age. We had to wear hats and sunscreen, otherwise we’d get skin cancer.”

17. “No, we didn’t usually tease the white kids.”

18. “We didn’t go to school until we were at least 3 years old – they called it ‘Kindy’. Before we started school, my mum and dad taught your aunts and I at home.”

19. “When I was your age, I had no idea that I’d go to school for 10 years, then another 10 years of internship.”

20. “My dad wrote a whole article about this stuff when he was my age. Oh, I see your Helper has found the archive already. Don’t laugh – back then they had strange ideas about the future. They thought we’d own flying cars and have computers everywhere.”

What do you think your kids will reminisce about when they grow up to be your age?

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About Jeffrey Kemp

I’m a Christian, a husband, a father of three, a database programmer and a pianist. I enjoy programming, playing with technology, losing wrestling matches with my kiddies, and long drives to visit the farmers-in-law. My favourite edible substance is Iced Coffee. I also blog about Oracle-related topics at
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