Pearson Adult Learning Centre

Brad's Teacher Writing November 18, 1999

Thoughts on the Millennium

     Since the year 1,000, many important people have lived, many events have happened, and many inventions have been made, but if I have to select the most important of them here is how I would choose. For an invention, I thought first to name the computer; however, I decided instead that the most important is the printing press. Gutenberg invented the press in the 15th century. At the time, people needed to copy a book by long hand. The printing press made it possible to print books quickly, and so made it also possible for the average person to own a book and read it, too. The most important person is harder to say. It could be an explorer, or a teacher, or a saint. Since I'm an English teacher, I must choose William Shakespeare, who lived about 400 years ago. His plays and poems still make people laugh and cry and think in many languages all around the world. Who could ever forget Juliet's desperate words to Romeo as the lark's song signals the departure of her lover: "Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day: It was the nightingale, and not the lark . . . Believe me, love, it was the nightingale." The most important event is a difficult choice, as well. Perhaps here I can be a bit self-centered and say that it was the mass emigration of people to the North American continent. Although this event has no precise date, it has certainly altered the structure of the world in fundamental ways. My grandparents left behind a rigid, class divided society in England to make a new start in this country. For this event, I, and many others, have had a chance to live in new ways, in a new world. It is interesting to note that none of these occurred in this century. For the most important events of only the past 100 years you will have to return to my class in the New Year!

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