Wondra Animate

Photo by Victoria Wendish on Unsplash

Michael ripped the birthday themed paper from a shoebox-sized object. He gasped, “Oh, Aunt Jo. This is exactly what I wanted!” Still clutching the box, he ran around the dining room table and hugged her.

Then turning towards his mom, “Wondra Animate is the coolest. Whatever I make can be programmed to move using an app.” He turned the box over and pointed to the graphics. It showed a finished dinosaur walking across the floor.

“I see.” She looked up at her sister with an eyebrow raised. “You shouldn’t have.”

“Honestly, Lynn. Michael is twelve now. He should be learning coding. The app teaches that and what he makes from the clay gives immediate feedback.”

Lynn pursed her lips and glared at Jo. “I’m all for him learning. Clay is just so messy.” She wrinkled face in disgust. “And it moving is creepy,” she loudly whispered.

While the sisters bickered, Michael slipped away to his room with the box. The last thing concerning him was the cake, ice cream, and certainly not the off-tune rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. He started the download for the app before he began sculpting the clay.

The Outlet and The Paper Clip

Photo by Neenu Vimalkumar on Unsplash

My first grade school year was coming to a close. For a solid week we learned about safety during thunderstorms and around electricity. We received fancy colored handouts, not the normal, mimeographed pages with blurry purple writing. I had grown to like the distinct, inky smell when the damp pages came straight from the printer. That machine fascinated me, but we weren’t allowed near it.

Mrs. Campbell, my first grade teacher, called our attention to the picture of a person standing under a tree and another one beside it with someone inside a house. “Which one of these should you do during a storm?” she asked. We raised our hands high above our heads. “Brian, which one should you do?”