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SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS (to be answered in about 30 – 40 words each)
Q1. Who are Tommy and Margie? How old are they? (Textual)
Ans. Tommy and Margie are students from the year 2157. They are neighbours and spend time together like children of their age usually do. Tommy is a thirteen-year-old boy and Margie is an eleven-year-old girl.
Q2. What did Margie write in her diary? (Textual)
Ans. On 17 May 2157 Margie recorded in her diary the discovery of a real book by Tommy. It was a very old paper book with yellow and crinkly pages.
Q3. Where did Tommy find the book and in what condition?
Describe the book that Tommy had found in the attic.
Ans. Tommy found a real book in the attic of his house. The pages had turned yellow and crinkly because it was at least two hundred years old. Moreover, it was all covered with dust as it had been lying in the attic for ages.
Q4. Had Margie ever seen a book before? (Textual)
Ans.No, Margie had never seen a book before till she saw the one that Tommy had found in the attic of his house. She had only heard about books from her grandfather who himself had not seen any. He too had heard about a printed book from his own grandfather.
Q5. Did Margie like the printed book? Why/Why not?
Ans. Margie was so excited to know that Tommy had found a ‘real’ book which was unlike the on-screen books the two were used to reading, that she recorded the discovery in her diary. As she turned the yellow and crinkly pages of the book with Tommy, she found it awfully funny to read it. While Tommy found it a waste, Margie was fascinated by it and liked it.
Q6. What things about the book did Margie find strange? (Textual)
Ans. Margie lived in an era of mechanical education with telebooks stored in a machine. So she found it strange that the words in the printed book remained fixed unlike the moving ones on her television screen.
Q7. “What a waste!” What is Tommy referring to as a ‘waste’? Is it really a waste?
Ans. Tommy thinks that the paper books with words printed and fixed on them are a waste. Once a book is read, it becomes useless and must be thrown away because it has the same content. Actually, printed books are not a waste. They can be read by many people over and over again and should be preserved for future generations.
Q8. What do you think a telebook is? (Textual)
Ans. A telebook is a compact book in an electronic form. It is stored in a computer and can be read by scrolling its pages up, down or sideways on a screen.
Q9. How does Tommy find the telebooks of his own time to be better?
Ans. Tommy felt that his telebooks were better than the printed books of the ancient times because they could be stored on television and read again and again. They occupied very little space as compared to the printed books and need not be discarded once they had been read.
Q10. Where was Margie’s school? Did she have any classmates? (Textual)
Ans. Margie’s school was inside the comfort of her house. It was just next to her bedroom. It was a customised school, set up exclusively for her according to her level and needs. No, she did not have any classmates.
Q11. Why had Margie started hating her school?
Ans. Margie never liked school. But recently her hatred had increased because of her poor performance in geography tests. Her mechanical teacher gave her one test after another and her performance went on becoming worse and worse.
Q12. Which part of her school did Margie hate the most?
What did Margie hate the most about her school?
Ans. The part that Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She always had to write them in a punch code that she was made to learn at the tender age of six. Besides, the mechanical teacher calculated her marks in no time which left no scope for Margie to relax after submitting the assigned tasks.
Q13. What subjects did Tommy and Margie learn? (Textual)
Ans. Tommy and Margie learnt a lot of subjects like History, Geography and Mathematics.
Q14. What kind of teachers did Margie and Tommy have? (Textual)
Ans. Margie and Tommy had mechanical teachers. They were not real persons but televisions which had different subject sectors. These teachers were customised to the level of a student. In case of malfunction, they were disbanded and repaired.
Q15. Why did Margie’s mother send for the County Inspector? (Textual) Or
Why did Margie’s mother shook her head one day and send for the County Inspector?
Ans. Margie’s mother sent for the County Inspector because Margie had been performing poorly in Geography. The repeated fall in her daughter’s performance disappointed her. So, she decided to call a specialist, the County Inspector, who could locate the problem and correct it.
Q16. What views did Margie’s mother have about teachers and learning?
Ans. Margie’s mother was very particular about her child’s education and made sure that Margie attended her tele-school regularly and studied properly and punctually. She believed that a tele-teacher had to be adjusted to the mind of each student and that each student had to be taught differently. Whenever she noticed a snag in Margie’s tele-teacher, she sent for the County Inspector to get the snag removed so that Margie did not miss Out of her school and learning.
Q17. What was the County Inspector trained to do?
Ans. The County Inspector worked as a technical expert. He was trained to identify and rectify errors in the functioning of the system installed in the mechanical teachers.
Q18. What idea do you form of the County Inspector as a person?
Ans. The County Inspector was certainly a kind-hearted man. Instead of finding fault with Margie, he gave her an apple and told her mother that if Margie was not performing well, it was not her fault, but the fault of the mechanical teacher. He aligned the speed of the geography sector keeping in mind the level of the girl. Before leaving, he patted Margie on the head and expressed satisfaction at her performance.
Q19. Why was Margie doing badly in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her? (Textual)
Ans. Margie was doing badly because the speed of the geography sector had been fixed too fast for her level. The County Inspector slowed down the speed to suit the level of an average ten-year-old. As Margie was of eleven years, she was comfortable with the new level set by the County Inspector.
Q20. “Margie was disappointed,” says the author. Why was she disappointed?
How did the County Inspector disappoint Margie?
Ans. Margie was disappointed because she hated school and hoped that her mechanical teacher would be taken away for repairs as Tommy’s teacher was once taken away for a month. But when the County Inspector promptly repaired and reset it at her home itself, she was unhappy.
Q21. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher? (Textual)
Ans. Once, Tommy’s mechanical teacher had developed a fault and its history sector had blanked out absolutely. The teacher had to be taken away for repairs and it had taken a month to put it in order.
Q22. Did Margie have regular days and hours for school? If so, why? (Textual)
Ans. Yes, Margie had regular days and hours for school. She studied from Monday to Friday at the same time every day. Although her school was a large black television screen installed in her own house, she had to attend it regularly. Her mother thought that young girls learnt things better if they studied them at regular hours.
Q23. How does Tommy describe the old kind of school? (Textual)
Ans. Tommy describes the old school as a special building where all the children went to study together. The students of the same age-group learnt the same things which were taught by human teachers.
Q24. How does Tommy describe the old kind of teachers?
Ans. Tommy tells Margie that the teachers in olden times were not mechanical but real men. They taught various things to boys and girls, gave them homework and also asked them questions. The teachers went to a special building called the school where they taught the children in the classrooms.
Q25. How did Margie react when Tommy told her that twentieth-century schools had human teachers?
Why did Margie remark, “How could a man be a teacher”?
Ans. Margie made this remark when she heard Tommy mention that children were taught by human teachers in the times gone by. She could not believe the truth of Tommy’s comment because she had not seen any human teacher; she was used to studying with the help of her mechanical tele-teacher only. Moreover, she believed that a human teacher could not match the mechanical teacher in intelligence and knowledge.
Q26. Who interrupts Margie and Tommy’s conversation? Why?
Ans. Margie and Tommy were lost in unravelling the exciting mystery of the ‘real’ book that the latter had found in his attic, when Margie’s mother interrupted them saying “Margie! School!” and she even suggested to Tommy that it was time for him to attend school, too.
Q27. When Margie went to her school, what did the teacher on the screen teach?
Ans. When Margie went to her school, which was a room next to her bedroom, the mechanical teacher taught an arithmetic lesson on the addition of proper fractions. It taught her how to add the fractions 1/2 and ¼.
Q28. Why couldn’t Margie concentrate on the Arithmetic lesson?
Ans. Margie could not concentrate on the arithmetic lesson because her mind was pre-occupied with the thoughts about the school that Tommy had just described her. She was awestruck to learn that children studied together and were taught by real persons in these old schools. She thought how much fun those students must have had while studying together.
Q29. Why did Margie think that children must have loved to go to school when her grandfather’s grandfather was a little boy?
Why did Margie feel that children in old times had fun while studying in school?
why does Margie feel that learning was fun in the schools of the past?
Ans. Margie attends a tele-school, which is just a machine in the room next to her bedroom and she studies alone unlike students of the schools in the bygone times. She feels that learning was more fun in those days because hundreds of children had the opportunity of congregating and studying together with the help of human teachers and printed books. Schools were huge buildings where a lot of activities could be carried out by students in groups. Compared to that, her present school is much too mechanical, boring, monotonous and demanding, and she hates it.
Q30. What was Tommy’s opinion about the ‘real book’?
Ans. Tommy found the ‘real book’ a waste as once read you, just throw it away. It did not seem interesting and useful. The words were fixed on it and not any other thing can be printed on it.
Q.31. How does Tommy describe the old kind of teachers?
Ans. He says that the old teachers did not live in the house. They had a special building and all the kids went there. They gave homework to students. They were not mechanical teachers, but human beings.
Q32. Who was the Country Inspector? What was his work?
Ans. The country Inspector was the man who repaired the mechanical teacher. He adjusted the level of the teacher as per the child’s requirements and intelligence.
Q33. Why was Margie doing worse in geography? What did the County Inspector do to help her?
Ans. Margie had been doing worse in geography because the mechanical teacher was very fast in displaying the questionnaire. The County Inspector adjusted its speed up to an average ten-year level. Thus, the mechanical teacher’s speed was controlled appropriately. The County Inspector assured that the overall pattern of Margie’s progress was quite satisfactory.
Q.34. 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 said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.
Q35. Why did Tommy pronounce the word ‘centuries ago’ carefully?
Ans. Tommy pronounced the word carefully because he wanted to lay stress on the fact that the school was very old and it was quite different from theirs.
Q36. What had once happened to Tommy’s teacher?
Ans. Once Tommy’s teacher was taken away for about a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.
Q37. What is the ‘slot’? Why does Margie hate it?
Ans. ‘Slot’ was a space in the mechanical teacher where each student is to put his homework and test assignments for marking. Margie hates it the most because she has to work hard to punch code for answering homework.
Q38. Evaluate ‘The Fun They Had’ as a futuristic story.
Ans. The Fun They Had’ is a futuristic story. It tells us about the revolutionary changes that will come in the field of education in the 22nd century. Technology will replace the concept of old schools and printed books. Margie and Tommy are the students of the year 2157. They are taught in their bedrooms serving as virtual classrooms. A mechanical teacher will replace a human teacher. Computers and e-books will replace old printed books.
Q.39. How will the e-books be different from the old books that existed centuries ago?
Ans. The very concept of ‘the books’ will change in the 22nd century. The e-books will replace old books. The books will not be printed on papers. The words will move on a TV/computer screen. The television screen may have more than a million books on it.
- What did Margie’s mother think about the teacher’ and ‘the school’?
Ans. Margie’s mother thought that every child had a different intelligence and capacity to understand things. The mechanical teacher should be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it taught. Each kid had to be taught differently. She thought that little girls and boys would learn better if they learned at regular hours at the ‘school’.
Q41. Describe the characteristics of the old school? How did it influence Margie?
Ans. The old school had several characteristics — the children went to a big building. The man worked as a teacher and taught the boys and girls. The teacher gave them homework. He also asked them questions. They sat together and studied the same subject. In the old school, children studied and played together. It was quite opposite to the school that has been talked about in the chapter. Margie was very much influenced by the old school. In her class, she was busy thinking about the fun the children had at that time.
Q42. Will future schools be completely devoid of humans and human values? Give a reasoned answer.
Ans. Certainly, a revolutionary change will come in the field of education in future. The mechanical teachers and tele-books will dominate the scene. Every student will be taught by the mechanical teacher according to his or her ability. However, the institution of schools will remain in one form or the other. Human teachers will not disappear altogether. Education will never be completely devoid of humans and human values.
Q43. Why did Tommy and Margie think the old book a wastage of resources?
Ans. Because they found the words in the old book not moving. The pages had turned yellow and crinkly. Moreover, the old book could not last long.
Q44. What difference did Margie’s mother find in the old school?
Ans. Margie’s mother was of the opinion that children should be taught according to their individual needs. But in the old school, the children of the same age group studied the same things.