People take a lot of things for granted, like the uncanny order of inventions.
Lori Curley: Imagine this -- if the GPS had been invented before gunpowder, and credit card companies before the mint, Columbus would have found his way to India and whipped out some plastic to buy the exotic spices Isabella wanted so much. And this may have given the Native Americans enough time to build an indestructible city, instead of those tent villages. It would also have eliminated the need for cheap labor -- i.e., slaves -- in the Southern states. There would have been no Lincoln, which would have been okay since there would be no need for a $5 bill. And, had the hidden video camera been around before the atomic bomb, how much faster would we have taken out Hitler?
I bring all this up because I realize how profoundly different my life would have been if my mother had been able to find her way out of the 5-mile radius of Bryn Mawr where we grew up. I am not complaining, but her sense of direction and fear of getting lost kept us from a number of events that could have improved my SAT scores. Visits to the battlefield of Gettysburg, the Air and Space Museum of D.C., or even a closer trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art would have fired up my historic and scientific synapses much more than the two-mile drive to the Philadelphia Country Club for a day of swimming, skin burning, tennis, and golf.
Again, this is not a complaint so much as an observation. My own son's life may be improved with the invention of digital breadcrumbs. After his fifth day at middle school, he turned left from room 221 and completed an entire circle of the building before arriving at room 222, which was to the right of 221. Had he been a few minutes earlier, he might have scored a 96 instead of an 86 on the math quiz.
There are a few other things he and I would like to see on the shelves by Christmas: a microwave that works in the car, a washer and dryer for the trunk big enough to clean one complete uniform, and a slingshot device that could hurl overdue movies directly into the return box from our parked car or in traffic 200 feet away.
|Lori Curley, champion mother of two middle-school teenagers, resides in South Orange, NJ. She holds a Masters in Education and has been teaching writing at the college level for 7 years. But can she find a job as a high school English teacher? Or will she pull her hair out first?|