What will the year 2000 be like? A view from the '70s
Monday, 7 November 2022
Sometimes while researching other material, archive gems are unearthed. Below is a poem written in 1971 by “third former” (Year 9) Roderick Knight (OA1974) about what School might be like in the year 2000, some 29 years into the future.
Some of Roderick’s predictions were scarily accurate, while others are just merely amusing. Have a read of his work below, which was also the runner-up in “The Andrean Literary Competition for Middle School Prose”.
School in 2000 A.D
As I sped out of the house on my rocket-scooter, I saw the busy highway below. Hydro-cars and hyper-buses sped along it at speeds well over 200mph. Robot police controlled the traffic, as they were programmed to do at the TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTRE.
Suddenly I heard a thunder of jets behind me and a rocket-bus sped past filled with my fellow schoolmates. After a safe landing just outside school, I made my way into the classroom by a moving stairway and went straight to my desk. I pressed a button at the side of it and through a trapdoor on the top came the books that were needed for the first period – History. Our robot teacher Miss 49631A (“Nuts ‘n Bolts” as we called her) appeared from a compartment in the wall and began the lesson.
The buildings of my school are made of plasite, a mineral found on Mars and Pluto. It is a type of plastic but it is stronger than steel. Circular domes made of clear plasite covered our playing fields and assembly hall. Mernium, the hardest metal known in our Solar System comes from the Moon, Venus, Neptune and Uranus and supports our school, which is about 6000 ft above the ground. All our buildings are at least 2000 ft above sea level because of the smog layer which had been left by past generations, and which extended from sea level up to 1500 ft. Because of this we have had to build our cities above this layer and adapt ourselves to the great height. Luckily I had become used to the height since I was born after our cities had been completed.
During our school holidays (which last for four months) my family and I usually catch the aqua-bus which takes you through the smog-layer, past the pollution-covered surface of the sea and down to the Sea Base, which lies deep beneath the surface. Here, all the fish have taken refuge from the pollution near the surface and adapted to their environmental change.
At our school, we have a wide selection of languages, five of which are not found on Earth. These are Martian, Venusian, Saturnian, Plutonian and Neptunian. The languages which are found on Earth include French, African, Latin, German, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabian, Polish, Italian, Indian, Greek, Norwegian, Persian, Finnish, Eskimo, Burmese, Fijian and Japanese. All these languages are nearly extinct because French, Russian and English are generally recognised as worldwide international languages. Besides languages there is Maths, Science, English and History. All the other subjects were dropped out of the school curriculum in the early 80’s.
After school, as I do my homework, I speak into the microphone on my desk. The microphone feeds a computer, when the computer replies I write the correct answer in my book. If the answer I gave was wrong the computer would give me the lesson I had that day all over again.
At last, homework done. I retire to my airbed. (These three-day school weeks are killing me!)