Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dawn on Jefferson; Chapter Four: School

So. School.

School is probably not exactly like what someone from the past would expect. It is a lot more fun than what I heard about from past years. We do have times were we are in a traditional classroom, but that's a less often than you might think.

You might think it was a cross between a summer camp and a school. We do a lot of hands on things. Every year since we were 8, we have had group projects. We would pick what the project is and then get guidance from the teachers to make sure it was realistic. Then we would build it, do it or whatever. We had to learn to document what we were doing. We had to learn present what we did to others. We had to learn ahead of what the traditional class rooms taught for specific subjects related to our projects. We had to write it up as a paper in the end. Starting in 5th grade, we had to even write a paper with citations about what we did. Above everything else, we had to learn to work together as a team. This taught us why we learned, not just taught us. For some silly reason grown ups seem to miss the fact we need to understand why we do things rather than just do them.

Oh, our class rooms still had lectures and readings and stuff together. However, the teacher was more like a helper. Each of us had a digital tutor and each of us would work on our own classwork at our own pace. The digital tutors would guide us one on one far better than the old way we learned about. Our teacher would then walk around and help when a tutor would get stuck with a student. Also our teacher would keep an eye on the kids to make sure they were not getting into trouble: digital tutors could be, by some kids, hacked and then the results could get ugly.

Teachers did still have lectures for us. They would introduce a topic, give an overview and then let us going digging and learning on our own. We had to bring back what we learned to the rest of the class and share information.

Every kid learned at our own pace and we had all the person attention we needed. We were certainly very advanced. My friend Elena had was in calculus. I was only in trigonometry. I write better than she does. And, yes, they still made us learn to write by hand, even if we have the ability to dictate our writing by thought. We were told over and over losing electronic contact might happen and in the wild, we might have needed to leave information for others to find.

Some of our topics might seem strange for someone off world. We learned how to talk with and instruct robots, the virtual and real kind. We learned how to grow our own food, but, at the same time, learn the details of Jeffersonian biology. We also learned the influence of people on each other and what they say and do. A psychology class. And we had a chip training class. I'll explain that later.

And, yes, we were still in a grade school. Silly Earther.

And how we learned might seem strange, too. Augmented reality was an old technology: the ability to change the world around you, at least the way it looked as it happened was more than half a century old. We used that for our classes, especially when we went outside. In history class, we fully immersed in a virtual reality and we walked through the simulated civilizations of Egypt and Rome. The American Revolution took on a very different look when you watched it. The immersives for the Civil War were for an older class. Apparently, they were disturbing.

The difference between a Jeffersonian Americans and many Earther Americans is we all do this through an implant: every single Jeffersonian is given a chip that grows into the brain before they are born. The brain attaches and grows incorporating the chip. The chip has a link to the outside world, but its turned off until kindergarten. Then the first day of school it gets turned on. Kindergarten is in large part about teaching kids to learn how to control their chip. Because the chip communicates wirelessly, through radio, to the outside world, the power is extremely little and everyone gets a booster, about 5 cm by 15 cm and a 1cm thick.

Oh you Earther Americans! Its 2 inches by six inches by 2/5ths inches!

This acted to store information and connect a person to the machines around and each other. Yes, yes, we got in trouble passing notes. Tinking, as we called it, could get us in trouble if we got caught. A lot of trouble. Especially during quizzes. Kids did try to cheap. What we were all told was the teachers had permission to listen to our tinking in class. Our parents definitely did. But that became less as we got older. We are given clean boosters when we get to be adults, at 18.

I'm not a heavy tinker! I promise! Jolie is a terrible tinker and would spend too much time sending little messages to everyone, replying to everything and even waaaay oversharing. Tinking had its own rules and while taking a tink pic was ok, being gross was not. Someone who tinked too much was a 'tinkler' and if they did gross stuff with their tinking, they were 'stinklers.'

My friends and I didn't do stupid things with our boosters. We did do some mischief, but most of the time we got caught, growled at and could get grounded by having our boosters crippled temporarily. Mom and Dad might not get along very well at times, but they both agreed to turn off my ability to tink after we bricked Elena's booster because she wouldn't leave us alone and kept getting around our filters we put up to stop her messages. It wasn't /really/ bricked, we just made it act out and send back her messages to her. Ok, it was sorta bricked.

Ok! Ok! It was really bricked. We said we were sorry!

The fun thing with school and the boosters is recess. We actually go out to play with and have adventure games with other kids. My friends and I became squirrels, yes, earth squirrels, and fought the hawks and foxes! We became great warriors with swords and shields and spears to defeat the Orcs of Mordor. We shrunk to the size of microbes and fought invading viruses. We also pretended to be bush babies jumping from tree to tree. And more. These days, we play more serious things though.

Oh! My friends! I have three really good friends. Jackie, Veena, Rosa and Tom. They are each special and fun and unique in their own way. We all went on the adventure that followed. The one we when found the mysterious booster in the forest. But that didn't happen until the day AFTER I walked back with my Dad from his farm.

No comments: