May 21, 2011

Blast from the Past: Element Talk Show

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

Atom Unit Report Booklet.

Element Talk Show page. Note volcano lamp, James Randi picture, and
artwork (by Randi’s talented partner) in the background. Click to enlarge.

I’ve been sorting through more boxes today (trying to finally pack up all my books and notes!), and I’ve found a box that contains reports, drawings, and other assignments from my elementary school days. I can’t date most of these reports exactly, but they are definitely from my 2nd through 6th grade days. I was a student at a Montessori school in Vermont back then. I actually attended Montessori schools from pre-K through 8th grade. Montessori schools encourage creativity, among other things, and boy did I have some creative assignments. In Montessori school students tend to work on themed units, which can last a week to a few months. During this time, students study and produce work related to that theme.

Here’s a gem of a story, from my report booklet on the “Atom Unit.” I believe that I wrote this story (with my friend Joy) in 4th grade. I was (still am) *such* a weirdo and nerd, even back in elementary school. All punctuation, spelling, and grammar are original. Enjoy!

Update: I just noticed that I wrote the year (1994) on the back of the report. So, I was 10 years old and in either 4th or 5th grade when I wrote this report.

Element Talk Show

Interviewer: Today on E.T.S. we are going to interview Miss Fluorine and here she comes now.

Fluorine: Hello all you fans I’m Fluorine. Any Hydrogens out there? I’m a little jumpy I only have seven electrons.
(sits down)

Interviewer: So what exactly are you?

Fluorine: I’m a gas. They use me in toothpaste as SnF2, stannous fluoride.

Interviewer: So you mean I brushed with you this morning. You are inside this little tube?
(holds up toothpaste tube)

Fluorine: It’s a tight fit, but that’s right.

Interviewer: How nice. What else are you used for?
(Takes a sip of water)

Fluorine: They use me in water for your teeth.

(Interviewer spits out water)
Interviewer: What! I think I just drank your cousin!

Fluorine: That’s all right. I’ve got to go. Ta! Ta!

Interviewer: Now it’s time to have your star reporter Joy with her weekly report. Take it away Joy.

Reporter: Thank you, Evelyn. Mr. Neon was spotted by our cameras at Bob’s Dinner* in the window. He was last seen advertising foods the dinner serves. Let’s see if we can get a word with Mr. Neon.

Neon: It’s Miss Neon.

Reporter: How does it feel to be a light?

Neon: Well it’s a tight fit in this glass tube, but I enjoy giving off my glow.

Reporter: What are you Mr. Neon.

Neon: A Miss Neon, I’m a Miss Neon.

Reporter:  No, I mean what element are you?

Neon: Well, I’m a gas. If I didn’t have an electrical current running through me I’d be colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Reporter: Anything else? Where are your friends? Perhaps we can get one on our show.

Neon: I’m happy by myself. My outside shell is full of electrons. I don’t make any compounds.

That’s it. If there was another page, it was unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) lost.

*Yes, dinner, not diner. Hee hee.