Period 35 – Value of Time
Albert was mad about computers and video games. He could spend hours and hours in front of then screen, and even though his parents found it hard to believe, he really enjoyed every minute of it. He hardly left his seat. When people encouraged him to get involved with normal life, he would respond:-”This is my doorway to the world, there is much more here than you realise.”
Among all his games there was one he especially liked. In it he would move a character around, collecting turtles on an infinity of levels and screens. He was a real expert at it. Maybe there was no one else in the world who had collected as many turtles as he had, but, nevertheless, Albert still wanted more and more and more…
One day, when he got home from school, everything had changed. As usual, as soon as he arrived, he ran to his room to switch the computer on. But this time he heard some strange noises, like breaking glass. Suddenly the screen broke, and from inside came dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of little turtles. And they filled every square inch of his bedroom. Albert was stunned. He couldn’t believe what was happening. But after pinching himself, he shut down and started the computer up many times, and called to his parents to see if he was dreaming this. As it happens, he had to accept that on that day something very strange was happening.
On entering, his parents put their heads in their hands. Seeing that the turtles were staying in Albert’s room, they decided to make them his responsibility
Looking after thousands of turtles, day after day, was no easy task. Over the following days Albert set himself to learning all he could about turtles. He studied their diet, their habits, and he began to think up ways to feed them. He also tried to trick them into leaving his room, but it never worked. Gradually, he got used to living among turtles, and actually began to enjoy it. He liked playing with them, showing them tricks, and calling them by their names. This despite the fact that feeding them and cleaning up after them hardly left him with any free time. And everyone, including his parents, his friends, and his teachers, enjoyed hearing Albert’s stories and his growing knowledge about nature.
Finally, the day arrived when Albert forgot about his beloved computer. He now much preferred living with his turtles, learning about them and watching the way they interacted. He went out into the countryside to see how they lived there. He felt happy that they were part of his world.
That same day, just as quickly as they had arrived, the turtles disappeared. On finding out, his parents worried that he would return to his video games, and go back to being grumpy, but that didn’t happen. Albert didn’t shed a tear. Nor did he waste a second looking for the turtles amongst the cables and chips of his computer. Instead, he emptied his savings from his piggybank and shot straight down to the pet shop. He returned with a turtle, and some other animal he wanted to look after and learn about.
And even today Albert is still learning and discovering new things about animals and nature. Now he also uses the computer to do that. However, any time someone asks him about it he points at his pets and says,-”They are definitely my doorway to the world, there’s a lot more to them than you’d realise.”
- Ask every child to make a note of the time that he spends in front of the television and ask them to cut it by half the time. Ask them to report as to what they did in the time that they did not watch the television.