The wisdom of seventh graders: What to do with a time machine (part 2)


(Make sure you've read Part 1 for background information.)

On the subject of where they would go in a time machine, many students wrote well-thought-out essays, beautifully composed.

These sentences below did not come from those essays.

I've categorized the snippets roughly by theme, though I had to guess at some of them since the sentences are taken out of context. (In a futile attempt to assist non-native speakers, I have glossed some of the trickier parts. I've also added editorial comments in italics.)

Introductions

  • I would be honored to trie the time machine
  • I am highly regarded to be selected to engorge this experimental journey.
  • At the crack of noon, we will begin our mission.

Personal History: These are essays from students who would travel to their own past.

  • In 5th grade you are at the top of the school, and you feel the power over come you.
  • Now, if we fall asleep in class we get in trouble. But in kindergarten if we didn't fall asleep we would get in trouble.
  • She would work in little orchids picking fruit for her family.
  • I have 4 things in my life. Soccer, family, God, and school. In that order.
  • If I could find a way to impel paranormal powers to ignite in ones body enableing them to do incredible feats, I would be ecstatic to the point of bliss. (This same student wanted Jesus to teach him how to walk on water. This student also wanted control over magnetism. I think he needs to lay off the X-Men comics for a while.)

The Middle Ages: The students recently studied the Middle Ages, which helps to explain why so many of them chose to go there.

  • And at that time in history, everything was changing either for the good or the bad. (Whoa there, let's not say anything too controversial now.)
  • In Europe during the 1700's there were 5 sections in the social class: 1=Monarchs, 2=Lords & Nobles, 3=knights, 4=pheasants. (What happened to number five?)
  • I find Middle Aged Europe very stimulating.
  • France is near water so I will feel more at home.
  • We have recently disgust the Middle Ages.
  • King Arthur may have won some battles without the use of fiction.
  • In 1550 I would choose to go to Spain because nobody really lived in N. American then.
  • I would learn a lot gong to the Midieval times. I would even come back and write and essay about it!
  • I'd have benefit in watching a mock battle between two knights on horseback with lances. (I may be wrong, but I think the battles in the Middle Ages were for real.)
  • It was sick and grusm but really a thing to remember.
  • And I would go to Britan because Britan was populare back in 1616.

United States(?) History

  • Also, to investigate how the family worked [in Pilgrim times], to see if they fought less because they had no appliances to fight over.
  • If I could go anywhere I would choose Boston, England.
  • I want to see what happened when Ben Franklin flew his kite in the rain. For this reason I would go to England.
  • Though War is Hell, I still would be anxious to see a real one. (Try watching the evening news.)
  • I wish the great depression, but it did. (Even after you fill in the missing words, it's still funny.)
  • Because California is a very interesting and mindblowing city.
  • In 1961 everything including life was simple.
  • Hopefully the president at their time isn't an idiot and stops the first power plant ever built.
  • I want to se the Great Babino Babe Bruth.
  • Besides the Stealer fans nobody like the Stealers.
  • It was like a family runnun at disneyland.

I'll stop here before I runnun too much. We'll learn more about seventh graders and time machines in the next installment.

Comments (38)
  1. Stewart says:

    You can’t blame them for wanting to go to Boston, England. It’s very nice, with a particularly interesting stump :)

  2. BradC says:

    "I wish the great depression, but it did."

    … so may possibilities with this one.

  3. Rick C says:

    "I’d have benefit in watching a mock battle between two knights on horseback with lances."

    This one may have been referring to jousting.

  4. Peter Ritchie says:

    "These sentences below did not come from those essays."  If they did not come from those essays, how do they relate to the essays?

  5. DavidE says:

    Get used to "crack of noon" – that is becoming a common term. A number of whitewater boaters use that term, especially around now when it’s still possible to go on a quick raft or kayak trip as long as you wait until midday.

  6. Nawak says:

    "These sentences below did not come from those essays."  If they did not come from those essays, how do they relate to the essays?

    They do not relate to the "well-thought" essays, if I understood correctly.

  7. Peter, you missed the joke.  Read the sentence before it again.

    ‘those essays’ means the ‘well-thought-out essays, beautifully composed’ essays, not all of the essays.  The quotes that follow come from the poorly written essays.

  8. Gabe says:

    For those who don’t know, Boston in England is a small town with a particularly large church (the Boston Stump). When the English Pilgrims came to America they named the towns the same as what they knew. However, Boston in America is about 20 times the size of the one in England, and is no doubt what the kid was refering to.

  9. Alex S says:

    Technically, before 1776 it was Boston, Mass., England…

  10. Richard says:

    <i>Technically, before 1776 it was Boston, Mass., England…</i>

    That’s a joke, right?

    I mean, no-one would be daft enough to think that Massachussetts was in England before Independence, would they?

    FYI: No, it might have been Boston, Mass., British Empire, but not England.

  11. Jamie Gordon says:

    The pilgrim fathers were arrested in Boston when they tried to leave England and sail to Amsterdam on the Mayflower. At least according to my favourite internet community edited encyclopedia. Perhaps if these children were taught this story at school this has prompted the fascination with visiting Boston, England.

  12. Jason says:

    "Crack of noon" is one I’ve heard for quite a while now, from my stepfather. Just a way of admitting you’re being lazy and sleeping in.

    And aside from the misspelling I have to agree with the second-to-last statement. Everyone knows the Pittsburgh NFL team name is actually spelled Squealers ;)

  13. Matt says:

    "Also, to investigate how the family worked [in Pilgrim times], to see if they fought less because they had no appliances to fight over."

    this one hit close to home

  14. JeffCurless says:

    7th grade and they can’t spell worth crap?  Are you sure this wasn’t the "short bus" class?  Just goes to show our educational system isn’t quite up to par.

  15. Miles Archer says:

    You’re comment about the X-Men had me laughing out loud (really).

  16. Miles Archer says:

    crap, i should read my response before posting.

  17. Ryan Fox says:

    What you don’t realize for the social classes is that he was using 0-indexing. 0 is just padding for now, since we haven’t implemented a higher class than monarchs, but we don’t want to break things when there is.

  18. Many of these look like misspellings that were "corrected" by a spellchecker.

  19. @Ryan Fox: I think the monarchs of England, since the time of Henry VIII, have been reporting directly to God; so She/He/It would be the zeroth "section in the social class."

  20. Dan McCarty says:

    "I think the monarchs of England, since the time of Henry VIII, have been reporting directly to God"

    Does God know this?

  21. Stu says:

    Seeing as "Stewart" doesn’t seem to have made it very clear, there really is a place in England called "Boston"! It’s in Lincolnshire.

    In fact, there are even two places in England called "New York". Many US place names were "imported", some of which, including Boston, became more well known as a US place name than a British one.

  22. Tim Lesher says:

    "Besides the Stealer fans nobody like the Stealers."

    Written by a Browns fan, obviously.

  23. Peter Ritchie says:

    Got it now.  I must have "reset" on the new paragraph :-)

  24. Archangel says:

    "Does God know this?"

    Often higher echelons don’t know that people beneath are reporting to them. It’s a good way of avoiding having to do work, if everyone except your boss thinks you report to him ;-)

  25. Balaji says:

    The phrase "crack of noon" is also used in a Tenacious D song. Not that that validates it, but maybe it was a joke?

    As for the "Stealers" line…somebody get that poor Seattle fan a tissue.

  26. Keff says:

    "We have recently disgust the Middle Ages." – ho ho ho – i think this was mispelled intentionally :)

  27. ::Wendy:: says:

    perhaps

    5) surfs (serfs)

    maybe they’d be jousting over appliances like surf boards.

  28. Norman Diamond says:

    > In 1550 I would choose to go to Spain because

    > nobody really lived in N. American then.

    That wasn’t just the wisdom of a 7th grader, it was the wisdom of at least one member of Congress.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006 3:04 PM by Maurits

    > Many of these look like misspellings that

    > were “corrected” by a spellchecker.

    Hmm, that’s why there’s no potatoe.  We’ve got more work ahead of us.  Or behind us, thanks to the time machine.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006 7:55 PM by Keff

    > […] ho ho ho – i think this was mispelled

    > intentionally :)

    I was about to agree about mispelled intentionally, but hit a stack overflow from recursion.

    [I would appreciate it if you kept your political insults to yourself. -Raymond]
  29. Norman Diamond says:

    > I would appreciate it if you kept your

    > political insults to yourself. -Raymond

    Because it’s OK to insult 7th graders by publishing what 7th graders said but it’s not OK to insult lawmakers by publishing what lawmakers said?

    [These sentences are cute, not insulting. At least I think they’re cute. -Raymond]
  30. Norman Diamond says:

    > These sentences are cute, not insulting.

    That’s a perfectly good opinion, but I wonder if that really is your opinion.

    When a 7th grade student said that nobody really lived in North
    America before whites occupied the land, the sentence is cute so it’s
    OK to report.

    When a US lawmaker (I don’t even remember which party) said that the
    land was empty before whites expanded into it, the sentence isn’t cute
    so it’s insulting to report.

    The meaning was the same.  How did the cuteness of the sentence change?  Did it depend on the exact wording?

    Your posting looked like a fine set of bug reports and I did think
    it was cute.  Sorry to argue but this is my response to your
    complaint.

    [If you honestly can’t see the difference then I feel sorry for you. But I think you’re being intentionally obtuse. -Raymond[
  31. Childish says:

    Nitpicking on child essays. Read about it here.

  32. Jim says:

    FYI: No, it might have been Boston, Mass., British Empire, but not England.

    But as I’ve learnt from watching imported American TV shows England == Britain ;)

    @Ryan Fox: I think the monarchs of England, since the time of Henry VIII, have been reporting directly to God; so She/He/It would be the zeroth "section in the social class."

    While true that before Henry VIII British monarchs used the Pope as an "intermediary", some might say that the direct reporting line got a bit "fuzzy" after Charles the First http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England#Trial_and_execution

  33. JamesNT says:

    I’m sorry, but this post actually makes me sad.  These are 7th graders, and assuming vertabim copying of what they had written, their language skills suck.  While I’m not saying that my language skills were perfect when I was in 7th grade, they were certainly an order of magnitude better than what we are seeing here.

    I hope their skills improve significantly very soon.

    JamesNT

    [Remember, these are not typical sentences. Just the funny ones. -Raymond]
  34. JamesNT says:

    Of course, considering how I just spelled "verbatim" in that last comment, my language skills aren’t perfect now.

    JamesNT

  35. Jorge Coelho says:

    “I would appreciate it if you kept your political insults to yourself. -Raymond”

    Sorry Raymond, but I must agree with him as well… I don’t understand what was so insulting about what he said (maybe because I’m not American, but oh well!)

    And the sentences are funny, but whether you like it or not, they do say a lot about the current spelling abilities of 7th graders. I wouldn’t call that ‘cute’, though. ;-)

    [I sensed the onset of a political flame war and wanted to cut it short. (And remember, these are not representative sentences. The ones that are spelled correctly are also less likely to be inadvertently funny. Odd how that tends to work out.) -Raymond]
  36. JamesNT says:

    Raymond,

    "Remember, these are not typical sentences. Just the funny ones. -Raymond"

    Thank you for pointing that out.

    James

  37. SM says:

    Pheasants, eh?  I’d at least have ranked them on a pat with cornish hens.

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