The Fun They Had
Page No. 10
Thinking about the Text
I. Answer these questions in a few words or a couple of sentences each.
1. How old are Margie and Tommy?
Margie is eleven and Tommy is thirteen-year-old.
2. What did Margie write in her diary?
Margie wrote, “Today Tommy found a real book!”
3. Had Margie ever seen a book before?
No, Margie had never seen a book before.
4. What things about the book did she find strange?
The book had yellow and crinkly pages and printed on a book stood still instead of moving the way they did on a screen. When they turned back to the pages read before, there were the same words on it when they read it the first time. All these things were strange for Margie.
5. What do you think a telebook is?
A telebook is a type of book that can be displayed on a screen.
6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates?
Margie’s school was a room in her house which right next to her bedroom. No, she did not have any classmates.
7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn?
Geography, history and arithmetic.
II. Answer the following with reference to the story.
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, which had a million books on it.
(iii) Tommy is comparing the television screen to the books of the earlier times in which words were printed on paper.
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).
1. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have?
Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers with large black screens on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked. These teachers had slots where the students had to put their homework and test papers.
2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector?
Margie was not performing well in her geography tests given by her mechanical teacher. Therefore, to check this Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector.
3. What did he do?
The county inspector took the mechanical teacher apart and put it together again. He slowed up the geography sector of the teacher which was geared a little too quick for an average ten-year-old.
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 for an average ten-year old child. To help her, the County Inspector slowed down this sector to an average ten-year level.
5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Once, the history sector of Tommy’s teacher had once blanked out completely.
6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why?
Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school as her mother believed that learning at regular hours helped little girls learn better. Her mechanical teacher was also on at the same time everyday except Saturday and Sunday.
7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school?
Tommy described 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.
8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers?
Tommy described that old kind of the teachers were not mechanical teachers but were human who taught the children in a special building where all children went to learn. They asked questions and gave them home work.
IV. Answer each of these questions in two or three paragraphs (100 –150 words).
1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the schoolrooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story?
• Mechanical teachers had large black screens on which the lessons were shown and questions were asked.
• They had a slot in which the students had to put their homework and test papers.
• These teachers were adjusted according to the age level of the child.
• The mechanical teacher immediately calculated the marks for the answers written in punch codes by the students.
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 very boring. She hated the large black screen and 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 each other in completing the homework. Also, the teachers were people.
Page No. 11
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 with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story. The school in the story was not fun as there was no real one to which we can discuss and share opinions. They need to do homework individually and present it to a mechanical teacher that were not understanding. The school is limited to a bedroom.
In the old kind of schools, children from the whole neighbourhood played and learnt together. They laughed and shouted in the schoolyard. They sat together in the schoolroom. At the end of the day, they went home together. They learnt the same things at school. Thus they could help each other on the homework.
Thinking about Language
1. Find the sentences in the lesson which have the adverbs given in the box below.
Awfully, sorrowfully, completely, loftily, carefully, differently, quickly, nonchalantly
1. 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.
“May be,” he said nonchalantly.
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.
Page No: 12
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.
1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, __________
2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, __________
3. Unless you promise to write back, I __________
4. If she doesn’t play any games, ___________
5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat ___________
1. If I don’t go to Anu’s party tonight, she will be angry.
2. If you don’t telephone the hotel to order food, you will miss your evening meal.
3. Unless you promise to write back, I will not write to you.
4. If she doesn’t play any games, she will become dull and lazy.
5. Unless that little bird flies away quickly, the cat will pounce on it.