1. How old are Margie and Tommy ?
Ans. Margie is eleven years old and Tommy is thirteen year old.
2. What did Margie write in their diary ?
Ans. In her diary, Margie wrote, “Today Tommy found a real book”.
3. Had Margie even seen a book before ?
Ans. No, Margie had never seen a book before.
4. What things about the book did she find strange ?
Ans. Margie found it strange that the book had yellow and wrinkled pages. The words in the book were still and did not move the way they move on the screen.
5. What do you think a telebook is ?
Ans. A telebook is a book that can be shown on a screen.
6. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates ?
Ans. Margie’s school was in her home, right next to her bedroom. No, she did not have any classmates.
7. What subjects did Margie and Tommy learn ?
Ans. Margie and Tommy learnt Geography, History and Arithmetic.
II. Answer the following with reference to the text :
- “I wouldn’t throw it away”.
i) Who says these words?
Ans. Tommy says these words.
ii) What does ‘it’ refer to ?
Ans. ‘It’ refers to the television screen.
iii) What is it being compared with by the speaker ?
Ans. The television screen is compared to the printed books.
- “Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man”.
i) Who does ‘they’ refer to ?
Ans. ‘They’ refers to the students who studied in the old kind of schools.
ii) What does ‘regular’ mean here ?
Ans. Here, ‘regular’ means the mechanical teachers of Tommy and Margie.
iii) What is it contrasted with ?
Ans. The mechanical teacher is contrasted with the teacher of earlier times, a human being.
III. Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words)
1. What kind of teachers did Tommy and Margie have ?
Ans. Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. There was a large black screen on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked. These mechanical teachers had a slot for the students to put their homework and test papers. They didn’t have a living human being as a teacher.
2. Why did Margie’s mother send for the county Inspector ?
Ans. Margie’s mother sent for the county Inspector because the mechanical teacher was not functioning properly. Margie had received many tests in geography but there was no improvement in her performance. So Margie’s mother was concerned about this and she wanted to find the reason behind it.
3. What did he do ?
Ans. The county Inspector found out that the Geography sector of the mechanical teacher had been adjusted to a higher level, so Margie was doing badly. In order to help her he slowed down the Geography sector to an average ten year level.
4. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the county Inspector do to help her?
Ans. Margie was doing badly in Geography as the Geography sector was adjusted ta a higher level so Margie was doing worse and worse. To help her, the county Inspector adjusted to an average level of a ten year.
5. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher ?
Ans. Once Tommy’s teacher was taken away for nearly a month because it’s History sector had blanked out completely.
6. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school. If so, why ?
Ans. Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school because her mother believed that learning at regular hours helped little girls learn better. So her mechanical teacher always turned on at the same time except on Saturdays and Sundays.
7. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school ?
Ans. Tommy says that the old kind of school had a special building and all the kids went there. They had a teacher, who was a human being. They all studied together and learned the same thing.
8. How does he describe the old kind of teachers ?
Ans. Tommy describes the old kind of teachers as living human being who did not live in the house. They taught the students in a special building. They taught the children in groups and gave them home work.
IV. Answer each of these questions in two/three paras.(100 – 150 words)
1. What are the main features of the mechanical teachers and the school rooms that Margie and Tommy have in the story ?
Ans. Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They had large black screens on which all the lessons were shown and questions were asked. These teachers were adjusted according to the level of the students. They had a slot in which students had to put their homework and test papers. They had to write their answer in a punch code and the mechanical teachers calculated the marks very quickly. Their schools were in their home itself. They did not have any classmates. They had regular days and hours for school. The mechanical teacher always turned on at the same time every day except Saturdays and Sundays. They learned Geography, History and Arithmetic.
2. Why did Margie hate school? Why did she think the old kind of school must have been fun ?
Ans. Margie hated school because it was not fun. She had a mechanical teacher teaching her every day at a regular time in her house. She hated the part when she had to insert the homework and the test papers in the slot. She did not like to write the answers in a punch code. She began to hate it even more when she began to do worse in the Geography tests.
She thought that the old kind of school must have been fun as she imagined all the kids from the whole neighborhood coming together, laughing and shouting in the school yard also sitting together in the school room, going home together at the end of the day. They would learn the same things and could help one another with the homework. Also the teachers were human beings who would make the learning more interesting. All these made her believe that the old kind of school must have been fun.
3. Do you agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story? Give reasons for your answer.
Ans. Yes, I agree with Margie that schools today are more fun than the school in the story. In the story teaching is done mechanically inside the student’s house. Studying alone with no classmates is a boring idea. Writing homework in punch codes without anybody’s help is tiring.
A mechanical teacher has no feelings. It does not have the ability to understand the student’s psychology. It teaches him or her as per the adjusted modes. But in today’s schools, there are teachers who are real human beings. They understand the work for the overall development of a child. If there is any problem the child faces with subject or homework he or she can discuss with the teachers or with other children. In today’s schools, children learn various qualities like sharing, respect, obedience, kindness, etc. They are also encouraged to take part in games, sports and other activities that help in overall development of a student. All these show that schools today are more fun than the school in the story.