This quote from Dr. Kara Cooney raised the expected number of ews and grosses but amazingly didn'r really phase the class of 24 second-graders who were listening to her talk about mummification. Meanwhile, the adults in the room were celebrating the technology which made such a discussion possible.
Considering the amount of technology required to produce the event it is amazing how smoothly it went. Routers, computers, online programs, speakers, cables, video equipment all had to work together to seamlessly bring Dr. Cooney's face and voice into the classroom (and vice versa). When it failed briefly, and the connection was lost, our librarian / technology specialist redialed and there she was again.... ready to finish her sentance.
When I was growing up (in ancient times not long after they stopped impaling people) our expert resources came via prerecorded audiotape tracks, field trips, or school presentations. Through this we were able to hear specialists in different areas discuss things we were learning about. And, just like today, we recognized it as a special event and were excited by the opportunity to avoid lessons as usual.
For a well-off community like mine growing up, local resources were rich enough that we were exposed to quite a range of experts. But, I wonder, for poorer school areas, did they have the same access I did? And, ironically, has technology really changed this at all?
It seems obvious that schools in better socio-economic areas have the technological resources and increased parent involvement to provide more of this type of interaction to their students than less well-off school districts. And...because of this interaction I am sure my daughter, who has been exposed to Dr. Cooney, will believe that much more in her dream of becoming an egyptologist. But, what of the child in a less well-off school district?
In our world where we talk about the 99%, days like this point out to me the complexity of our cycle of wealth. It is not just meansured in dollars, it is really about opportunity; something Dr. Cooney can relate to since even in ancient Egypt wealth meant opportunity to be mummified and go on to live in the afterlife. I am pretty sure, without a mummified body, there was no afterlife for you (thus, impaling being that much more drastic). Talk about the ultimate in the rich getting richer.
So, while we may still be struggling with social equality in our world today, I can hope that at least in the after-life opportunity is equal for all.... mummified or impaled, 99% or 1%.