One of the handy side-effects of unemployment is a chance for field trips (when I can be pried away from the online job boards and script projects).
This morning I volunteered a couple hours reading to second graders at Park Street Elementary near the Marietta Square. The favorite pick was Little Bunny Foo Foo and The Good Fairy, which I was required to read three times. Who knew that ear worm of a tune mom sang to me as a kid would come in so handy?
Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don’t wanna see you, catching all the field mice and bopping them on the head.
(The moral of the tale, for those who don’t recall, is: hare today, goon tomorrow.)
But I couldn’t help feeling, well, a little old. We breezed through a cute tome about a boy who takes his various pets to the library. When the frog landed in the card catalog, though, the kids’ glazed eyes reminded me that these kiddos don’t have a clue what a card catalog is.
The card catalog always held a certain mystique for me, the scent of polished wood and yellowed cards, a sort of massive paper brain housed right in the center of the library. I always wanted to take one of the cabinets home so I could place it in my room and fill up each of the fascinating little drawers with who knows what.
And forget Google, youngsters! We were our own search engines, with a little aid from Dewey. Was it elephants I looked up for that very first research paper in grade school, sorting through the cards and matching them up with worn spines on the shelves?
Oh, and we walked uphill both ways to school. In the snow. Barefoot.
At the end of the story, the library problem was solved when the boy left his pets at home to be read to by his well-behaved elephant. I suspect the second graders thought they were being read to by a dinosaur.