Here is the 10th installment of a short story I wrote as the 1st chapter of Redefining Literacy in the 21st Century, written in 2004. The setting is 2014. It starts here.
Copyright © 2004 by Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from ABC-CLIO, publisher of Redefining Literacy 2.0
“Alf, how are you?” The teacher asks with genuine interest.
“I’m fine, I guess” the moody boy replies. Then he adds, “Ms. Crabtree, about the violence in my video…”
The teacher knew that this was coming. There is a hard rule in all presentations, especially images and video, that there be no violence demonstrated.
“You could have stopped the presentation right then, but didn’t,” Alf continued.
“The reason for the policy is to avoid the glorification of violence. You weren’t glorifying violence. You were using it to very effectively make a point. Your examples were not that different from the examples of the lions and the cheetah, which were also violent.”
Alf nodded his understanding and then looked directly at Ms. Crabtree and said, “Thanks!” It was sincere!
Meanwhile, Isaac Johnson’s workday had entered its more intense period as the large media center filled up with students and student teams working on their projects. All of the knowledge gardens were occupied by groups consulting with each other or working individually on specific components of their presentations. Many wore headphones as they consulted with other team members or collaborators via teleconferencing or worked with musical keyboards composing and editing background music or sound effects.
Mr. Johnson noticed Desmone standing by the bookshelf, apparently waiting to talk with him. He commended the students he was sitting with on their work and excused himself, walking over to the waiting teenager.
“I was just curious, Mr. Johnson,” she began as he approached. “How did you know that Alf would be here today?”
The young educator smiled at Desmone. “Do you remember when I checked Alf’s work files?” She nodded. “His last work was done on a computer whose owner was labeled as Sgt. Jonathan Frick. I know Sergeant Frick. He works the night shift for the police department. Evidently, Alf finished up his part of your project from the police station.”
Desmone cocked her head, not understanding.
Mr. Johnson continued, “Do you think Alf would have been working on his project at the police station if he had not fully intended to be in class for the presentation today?”
Desmone smiled. “Oh!” She immediately locked eyes with a friend across the media center, and looked back to the media coordinator. “Thanks, Mr. Johnson!”
“You’re quite welcome!” Mr. Johnson bowed slightly.