The wisdom of seventh graders: What to do with a time machine (part 3)


(Continuing from part 2.)

Here are more sentences from seventh grade time travel essays. Remember, these sentences are not representative of seventh grade writing in general; these are just the funny bits.

World History

  • I want to travel to the year 0 "B.E." Before everything
  • My target would be Colorado. At a time of 115 mya (million years ago)
  • I would go to grease.
  • But still, the crusification of Christ is my favorite.
  • You might get rich from your invention, but probably not.
  • I can bring back people that would be dead.
  • I feel bad for them. I mean they are living a life without electronics!
  • They have nice people in Gotenberg, but not as nice at the malls.
  • I would go to the passed to learn about fashion an find a cure for cancer.
  • I want to go to the passed to get some knowlige and invensions to bring back.
  • I chose to travel to Europe for many reasons but the most important reason is because it was one of the first countries of the world.
  • What interests me the most is how all those major cities like: France, London, Italy and Venice all get along under one country.
  • Stealing from weary travellors and garding treasures! What could be more enjoyable than that.
  • One of the most memorable things about this time were the FIGHTS
  • I would tell him that people today are morons...
  • Those questions may never be answered. But one thing's for sure, I would sure like to go back and find out.

The Future

: Most students who travelled to the future wanted to meet themselves.

  • There are thousands and thousands of books that tell about the past but there are much less books that tell about the future.
  • I would go to the future because I already know all about the past from history class.
  • A trip to the future could just as well be a trip to an asylum.
  • I've always wondered what I would look like in the future, I hope I'm not ugly.
  • I'd like to meet [my future self] to see if I've made my lifelong dream of being a doctor/actress a reality.
  • One day I want to play football for a collage.
  • I want to go 1000 years in the future to see if I have children or even grandchildren.
  • Maybe my friend will become a rock star (finally!) like he wants.
  • Most likely by then they would have a day honoring my sicnificence.
  • I want to take it out for a spin in the fucher.
  • Our whole plant could explode, and that might be bad.
  • I would be content with how I will change in the future as long as I will not turn bad!
  • Because I have always dreamed of having a dog team. Then I could compet in the eididorod every year.
  • Creatures and beats will live like we do.

Letter Format: Some students took advantage of the fact that the essay took the form of a letter.

  • You are a fanominal teacher.
  • Sincerely, Your disco-dancing student

Best Conclusion

  • But, I have one question before I go. How do I get back?
Comments (23)
  1. David Walker says:

    "The crusification of Christ is my favorite" ??

    Favorite?  In a sort of macabre way, maybe.  It’s like saying the Plague is my favorite disease.

  2. Cody says:

    I’ve always been partial to the rack and typhoid fever, myself.

  3. Ben Ryves says:

    It’s good to see that geography is still being taught to a high standard in the US.

  4. BeefEater says:

    "I would tell him that people today are morons… "

    Are you sure this is a grade 7 kid? This sounds like the wisdom of a much older person.

    This kid wins my essay vote, hands down. Live by this motto and the world is an easier place to live in.

  5. I was thinking about this yesterday, while on the phone, in the queue to a call centre.

    It occurs to me that a time machine might not need to send people or things backwards and forwards in time.

    It might be more valuable simply as a way to spread call centre load, so that everyone can call up during their lunch break, but the call centre agents receive the calls spread evenly over their working day.

  6. James says:

    Ben Ryves: I am glad that your internet education has taught you that bashing the US education system is quick way to forum popularity. Well done!

  7. BryanK says:

    Our whole plant could explode,

    Not likely:

    http://qntm.org/destroy

    and that might be bad.

    Well, um, yeah?  ;-)

  8. Mike says:

    "I’d like to meet [my future self] to see if I’ve made my lifelong dream of being a doctor/actress a reality."

    Imagine her disappointment when she finds out she did, in fact, acheive her life-long dream.

    An remake of the famous "I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV" commercial.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I would go to grease.

    I actually thought he meant to see the famous musical.

  10. dakirw says:

    That last kid who wanted to know how to get back to the present is pretty smart. It’s a rare 7th grader that actually thinks about the whole issue like that.

  11. DavidE says:

    Sheesh, don’t you know anything? You prank call yourself in the past and convince yourself not to go into the future in the first place.

  12. Brian says:

    "A trip to the future could just as well be a trip to an asylum."

    That’s my favorite, how true it is.

  13. Hamilton Lovecraft says:

    “My target would be Colorado. At a time of 115 mya (million years ago)”

    What’s funny about this? mya (  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mya_%28unit%29 ) is a fairly standard abbreviation among paleontologists, and avoids the BC vs. BCE crap. I assume the kid is looking for dinosaurs, and has read a book on the subject.

    [Actually I happen to know the answer to this one. “mya” was a one-shot abbreviation the school’s science teacher invented simply in order to save blackboard time. That it matches an official abbreviation is coincidence. -Raymond]
  14. Ben Cooke says:

    Out of interest, Raymond, how did these essays come into your posession? Are you a teacher’s assistant in your spare time? :)

    [There are often volunteer opportunities at your local school if you know the right people. -Raymond]
  15. Jim says:

    I thank Ray for spending the time to find the material to entertain us.

  16. Cooney says:

    [There are often volunteer opportunities at your local school if you know the right people. -Raymond]

    There are also tutor programs available around here – stpseattle.com or something like that is advertised on the radio. I suppose this is one way of meeting the right people.

  17. What is funnier: the spelling mistakes, or the fact that us readers apparently need them underlined?

    [The underlining is to help non-native English speakers. -Raymond]
  18. Brian says:

    You’re probably helping the native speakers more.

  19. Igor says:

    Someone said that going back in time is like rewinding and I believe that is the most plausible option.

    However, I need your opinions on the following (my opinion is in the square brackets):

    1. When you go to the past you cease to exist in the present. Yes or No? [Yes]
    2. If you cease to exist in the present because you went to the past, then it is impossible to meet yourself in the past because you weren’t there — you were in the present before taking the trip. Yes or No? [Yes]

    3. If going back in time is like rewinding the video tape you just watched, then by going back in time you take your knowledge with you, and by fast forwarding into the future you don’t have any knowledge about what happened in the meantime. Yes or No? [Yes]

    4. Assuming that even sitting at our desk doing nothing we move both through time and space at constant velocity, moving backward/forward through time at will would also require moving in other three dimensions. Yes or No?

    5. If the tape analogy is correct, then it would be also possible to pause time for everyone except you. Yes or No? [Yes]

    Anyway, I think that people already have the ability to travel through time — in their mind.

  20. Matt says:

    Wow, I totally thought the underlines were added by Firefox 2.0.  Nice CSS skillz :-).

    I guess FF only spell-checks form inputs entered by the user, not HTML from the server.

  21. SM says:

    I want to take it out for a spin in the  fucher.

    Boy, I was totally pronouncing this one wrong when I read it.  Took me a minute.

  22. Neil says:

    Matt, SeaMonkey 1.1 will be able to do this; just edit the page and turn on inline spellchecking.

  23. Jeff says:

    Having read through all three parts plus comments, I must say I find it sad that (for the most part) they appeared to have no knowledge of the truly significant events of history…  and those few that did appeared to be ridiculed the most, or have comments made on how it was done in television episodes.

    The assinations of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln have always made me wonder… what if they hadn’t been killed?

    The space program setbacks – Challenger, Columbia, and the infamous "Huston, we have a problem" Apollo 11 – if those hadn’t happened, where would be be today?  Would we have had worse incidents?

    Events such as the attack on the World Trade Center… those needed to occur.  They have had ripples throughout the world since, and continue to do so.  If you don’t look at the war in Iraq, and ignore that for the time being, think of the other echoes of that day… without the event, we’d be worse off.

    Then there are those who would go back in time and kill the dictators – such as Hitler, Napolean, Mussolini, Castro, …  – but would the world truly have been better off… or would someone worse have taken their place?

    For me, personally, I’d like to go back and see Woodstock, ’69 – the only one that was truly peaceful.  The common belief is that it was because of all the drugs – I don’t think so… even if everyone’d carried in a bag of marijuana, it’d have all been smoked by the beginning of the third day.  (Or lost in the mud.)  I’ve always had the belief that humanity showed its true colors there.

    Sure, I’d like to go back and view dinosaurs… see what color they really were; but without the chance of getting eaten myself.  I’d like to know the truth about the assination of J.F.K.; but know that the truth of that is still known by enough people – it will some day come out.

    The idea is intriguing — where would you go, and when?  I wonder what different groups of our society would choose… businessmen, politicians, convicted felons.  Would a stockbroker go to warn himself to not buy a particular stock?  Or would he pick something more significant tham him/herself?  Would the politician go back to fix a wrong they made, or  woudl they be more likely to warn themselves to stay out of something that turned against them?  Would a convicted felon go back and warn himself not to commit the crime, or make it so he didn’t get caught in the first place by changing something… such as flattening the tire of the officer that caught him before they arrived at the scene?

    It’d be interesting to find the answers to other questions… what was life really like in Medievil times?  Did Newton really have an apple fall on his head?  Would Einstein still create the bomb if he saw the future, and where it was used?  (And if he didn’t, who would finish it first in his stead?)

    Questions that make you think… that’s what I like about philosophy.  We will probably never be able to answer them… but the thought process can be just as educational.

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