Thinking about Text
I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
Q.1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
Ans. Margie is eleven and Tommy is thirteen-year-old.
Q.2. What did Margie write in her diary?
Ans. Margie wrote, “Today Tommy found a real book!”.
Q.3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
Ans. No, Margie had never seen a book before.
Q.4. What things about the book did she find strange?
- Margie found it strange that the words printed on a book stood still instead of moving the way they did on a screen.
- She also found it odd that the words on a page always remained the same as the first time they were read.
- Besides, the idea that someone would write a book about schools was itself strange for Margie.
Q.5. What do you think a telebook is?
Ans. A book that can be displayed on a screen is called telebook.
Q.6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Ans. Margie’s school was in her home itself, right next to her bedroom. No, she did not have any classmates.
Q.7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Ans. Margie and Tommy learned geography, history, and arithmetic.
II. Answer the following with reference to the story.
Q.1. “I wouldn’t throw it away.”
(i) Who says these words?
(ii) What does ‘it’ refer to?
(iii) What is it being compared with by the speaker?
(i) Tommy said these words.
(ii) 'It' refers to the television screen, on which you could read over a million books
(iii) Tommy is comparing the television screen to the real books in earlier times in which words were printed on paper. He thought that after reading such books, one would have to throw them away. However, he would never have to throw away his telebooks.
Q.2. “Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.”
(i) Who does ‘they’ refer to?
(ii) What does ‘regular’ mean here?
(iii) What is it contrasted with?
(i) They refer to the students who studied in the old kind of schools centuries before the time the story is set in.
(ii) Here, 'regular' refers to the mechanical teachers that Tommy and Margie had.
(iii) The mechanical teacher is contrasted with the teacher of the earlier times, who was a human being.
III. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).
Q.1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
- Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They were large and black and ugly and had large black screens on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked.
- These mechanical teachers had a slot in which the students had to put their homework and test papers.
- They had to write their answers in a punch code and the mechanical teacher calculated the marks immediately.
Q.2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
- Margie had been given many tests in geography by the mechanical teacher, but there was no improvement in her performance.
- It only kept getting worse. It is for this reason that Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector to find out why this was happening.
Q.3. What did he do?
- The County Inspector gave Margie an apple and started working on the mechanical teacher. He took it apart and then checked it.
- Margie had hoped that the Inspector would not know how to put the mechanical teacher together again, but he managed to reassemble it.
- He slowed down the geography sector of the teacher because it was geared a little too quick for an average ten-year-old.
Q.4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
- Margie was doing badly in geography because the geography sector of the mechanical teacher had been geared a little too quick.
- The County Inspector rightly told her that she could not be blamed for her poor performance.
- The County Inspector slowed down the geography sector of the mechanical teacher to an average ten-year level.
- He also told Mrs. Jones that Margie's overall progress pattern was satisfactory.
Q.5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Ans. Once, The history sector of Tommy’s teacher had once blanked out completely.
Q.6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Ans. Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school. This was because her mother believed that learning at regular hours helped little girls learn better. Her mechanical teacher was also on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday.
Q.7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Ans. Tommy described an old kind of school as a special building where all kids studied together. There were hundreds of students studying and playing together. They used to shout and laugh together in an open yard.
Q.8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?
Ans. Tommy said that the old kind of teachers were men, who taught the students inside a special building. The teachers taught the children in groups and gave them homework and asked them questions.
IV. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).
Q.1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
- Margie and Tommy have mechanical teachers. They need not go to school for getting a formal education.
- The mechanical teacher is placed in one of the rooms of the house and they can get the knowledge of various subjects individually from the mechanical teacher.
- They don’t have such classrooms where students sit together. The study from the telebooks. So they don’t require books and exercise books.
- The examination system is very different. They do homework in a different way. Margie has to write them out in a punch code.
- She learnt it when she was six years old. So the system of their education is technologically advanced and not based on printed books.
Q.2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun?
- Margie hated school because it was not fun. A mechanical teacher used to teach her every day at a fixed time. Recently, she had been doing badly in the geography tests that her mechanical teacher had been giving her.
- Her mother was not happy with the performance and sent for the County Inspector; she hopes that the inspector would take the mechanical teacher away.
- She is disappointed when the County Inspector manages to assemble all the parts of the mechanical teacher.
- The part that she hated the most was inserting the homework and test papers in the slot on the mechanical teacher. She did not like the fact that she had to write her answers in a punch code.
- She thought that the old kind of school must have been fun as she imagined all the kids from the entire neighbourhood coming together, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard. She imagined that they would sit together in the classroom and go home together at the end of the day.
- They would learn the same things and could help one another with the homework and talk about it. Also, the teachers were people. All these aspects made her believe that the old kind of school must have been fun.
Q.3. Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story? Give reasons for your answer.
- Yes, I agree schools today are more fun than the school in the story. In the story, there is no interaction among students regarding studies.
- Studying and answering questions seems to be a boring idea. Doing homework without anybody's help and writing them in a punch code would also be draining.
- Moreover, children develop a better understanding of each other and of their surroundings when they go to a school and interact with each other. It is a healthier way of learning.
- Listening to teachers explaining lessons is always more interesting than reading the entire lesson on a mechanical computer.
- Also, if any student faces any problem with the subject or in homework, he can discuss it with the teacher and other kids. It is impossible to discuss problems and situations with a mechanical teacher that is only programmed to teach in a particular manner.
- The excitement of waiting to know the marks scored in exams is greater when one is sitting in a classroom with other students. It does not have the same effect when the marks are calculated immediately after a test has been taken.
- Finally, the friends that you make at school are most probably the best friends that you will ever make in your entire life. The various qualities that you learn in schools like obedience, respect, kindness for others, sharing, taking part in school games, sports, and other activities are all a part of school education today.
- Therefore, schools today are more fun than the school in the story as they are more interactive. They promote a healthy environment for students to study and learn.
Thinking about Language
Q.1. Find the sentences in the lesson which have the adverbs given in the box below.
Awfully, sorrowfully, completely, loftily, carefully, differently, quickly, nonchalantly
- They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to − on a screen, you know.
- The mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector.
- They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.
- He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, “Centuries ago.”
- “But my mother says a teacher has to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it teaches and that each kid has to be taught differently.”
- “I didn’t say I didn’t like it,” Margie said quickly.
- “Maybe,” he said nonchalantly.
Q.2. Now use these adverbs to fill in the blanks in the sentences below.
(i) The report must be read _____________ so that performance can be improved.
(ii) At the interview, Sameer answered our questions _____________ , shrugging his shoulders.
(iii) We all behave ________________ when we are tired or hungry.
(iv) The teacher shook her head ____________ when Ravi lied to her.
(v) I __________ forgot about it.
(vi) When I complimented Revathi on her success, she just smiled ___________ and turned away.
(vii) The President of the Company is _____________ busy and will not be able to meet you.
(viii) I finished my work __________________ so that I could go out to play.
(i) The report must be read carefully so that performance can be improved.
(ii) At the interview, Sameer answered our questions loftily, shrugging his shoulders.
(iii) We all behave differently when we are tired or hungry.
(iv) The teacher shook her head sorrowfully when Ravi lied to her.
(v) I completely forgot about it.
(vi) When I complimented Revathi on her success, she just smiled nonchalantly and turned away.
(vii) The President of the Company is awfully busy and will not be able to meet you.
(viii) I finished my work quickly so that I could go out to play.
Q.3. Make adverbs from these adjectives.
(i) angry ___________
(ii) happy __________
(iv) sleepy __________
(v) easy ____________
(vi) noisy ___________
(vii) tidy ___________
(viii) gloomy ________
II. Complete the following conditional sentences. Use the correct form of the verb.
(i) If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, __________
(ii) If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, __________
(iii) Unless you promise to write back, I __________
(iv) If she doesn’t play any games, ___________
(v) Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat ___________
(i) If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, she will be angry.
(ii) If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, you will miss your evening meal.
(iii) Unless you promise to write back, I will not write to you.
(iv) If she doesn’t play any games, she will become dull and lazy.
(v) Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat will pounce on it.