“As you can see, I expect you to study much harder on the next unit’s test. I am rather disappointed in you all, but that leaves much room for improvement,” the teacher said, as he handed out the previous unit’s test. “Since that last unit left off at approximately the year 1990, we’re going to start off our next unit around the year 2000 in history. We’ll study about one hundred years or so. This is an important time frame in history as we know it. Does anyone know why?” None of the students raised their hands. They looked at each other nervously. “Nobody knows? Can anyone tell me some important people of that era?”
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One student near the back eagerly raised his hand. The teacher called on her. “George II of America and George the III of America.”
“Yes, those are two leaders you will need to know. There are several European leaders you will also need to know for the quiz, which will be at the end of the week,” the teacher stated. “We won’t be focusing on leaders too much. There were many in that era and covering all of the important ones would be impossible. Can anyone tell me anything else about this timeframe?”
There were a couple of hands raised now. “I know Mr. Blue!” one student said. The teacher’s last name was actually Paul, but since that name appeared in the Bible, it was of course illegal for students to call him by it, under the Act of Religious Equality passed over a decade previously. Names of colors were used to replace any religious names in school, except the colors “black”, “white”, and “brown” which couldn’t be used due to the Racial Equality Act passed more recently.
“Yes, Red?” the teacher asked the girl. Her name was Mary.
“Back then, didn’t they used to slap their hands together when they were happy?”
The teacher chuckled. The students always seemed to remember the obscure parts. “As a matter of fact, that is true. Whenever someone would bang their palms together, it was a sign that they were pleased. Silly isn’t it?” The students laughed.
“Wouldn’t they hurt their hands when they banged them together all the time?”
“They must have. That was probably why we adjusted to the head-bobbing motion when we want to applaud something. Anyway, what else do we know about this era?”
“Wasn’t that when the Great Gas Conspiracy was uncovered?” one student asked.
“Yes, that is also correct. People would actually stop at what were called ‘fueling stations’ where they would stick a nozzle into their cars. They actually thought some special liquid was being dispensed into their cars. They paid ridiculous prices for this special fluid, which, as we all know, was water all along.” Again, the students laughed.
“Stupid people,” the student called Red stated and laughed.
“You will need to know the year that conspiracy was uncovered for the quiz. It is written in your study guides, so pull out your laptops, open up the file named ‘Review Work’ and look over it. I would recommend looking over that file for the quiz. You’ll need to know most of it.” As the students pulled out their computers and opened them up, the teacher continued. “What else can you tell me about this time period, starting at around 2000?” An older boy raised his hand. “Yes, Gold?” His real name was Mark.
“Didn’t they still watch those motion boxes during that time?”
“Actually, they did. They were called televisions back then though. That will be one of your vocabulary words, so know it. Anyway, people would sit in front of these boxes and watch motion pictures. They would do this for hours on end sometimes. It was a very sad society. Because of these television devices, obesity soared. No one got any exercise. They would just sit around eating watching their television cubes. That was until they were banned in the late 2050s.”
“Man they were dumb,” Gold said.
“Careful, Gold,” Mr. Blue said. “What did I tell you about making fun of people from history?”
“No matter how stupid the things we’re that they did, people will probably look back and think our customs are dumb, too,” he recited from memory.
“That’s correct. A few other things you’re going to need to know about this era in time was the education, or lack of it, as I should say. You only needed around 60% to pass a class, which of course, is down 35% from what it is now. Basically, almost anyone could get through school with ease and graduate. During the 2040s, regulations were toughened, rightfully so.
“You’ll also want to know that most cars still emitted incredibly destructive fumes. This was before the International Clean Air Ordinance was passed and large vehicles were banned from the roadways. Keep in mind, cutting down a tree was still legal during this period of history.” After noticing the shocked expressions on the students’ faces, Mr. Blue continued. “Things were so very different back then. Security offers weren’t mandatory in classrooms at that point,” Mr. Blue said, smiling at the police officer in the back of the room. “It was still legal for citizens to own firearms, the double jeopardy law was still in place, and student’s still pledged their allegiance to one nation under God, which, as we know, is now strictly forbidden in schools. Things that were considered ordinary back then, do seem strange now, don’t they?” The kids nodded.
“What was double jeopardy?” one student asked.
“That was where you couldn’t be tried for the same crime twice. So if you committed a crime, but a jury said you were not guilty of it, you could go home and never be tried again.”
“That’s pretty dumb,” another student said. Mr. Blue shot the student a quick glare. “Oh yeah, no matter how stupid the things we’re that they did, people will probably look back and think our customs are dumb, too.”