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December 2nd, 2016

Reiss’s Pieces

By Judy Reiss
Have you ever wondered who the man or woman was who invented a lot of the things we use every day? Well, me neither! Now I don’t want you to think that I am going to tell you who they are because I’m not. And I’m not because I just don’t have the time. But did you know that you can find out just about anything if you have a computer or even easier an iPad? What you do is just type in “who invented the scissor” and up will come the answer. Now I don’t know about you, but I find that not just interesting but wonderful!

When I was young, the most wonderful thing in our household was being able to have a set of the Book of Knowledge and we bought that set of books from a young man who sold them door to door. I vividly remember when they arrived in a big box. My brother and I were so excited and it was a big decision for my family to decide where we would put that big set of books. A book shelf in the living room was selected and I think they stayed there until well after my brother and I left home.

And I am sure that most of you had sets of books like the one we had.

First, you should remember that no one I knew had just paid for those books. No one had the money to make such a large purchase all at once. So what we did was paid for them a certain amount a week or a month. And because it was such an important purchase, the money was saved every single week and I don’t think we ever missed a payment. When we had to use one of the volumes, we had to wash our hands and be very respectful! I remember using that set of books throughout my school years. I did think that it was terrific that we had such wonderful books right in our own home and didn’t have to go and look up the information that I needed at the library. Now you don’t have to do anything to find what you need because it is all right at your finger tips! I don’t think that too many young people today can appreciate how easy it is for them to find the information that they need. Whether it is about the scissors or everything they need to know about the Revolutionary War, all they need to do is ask their computers the question they need the answer to and before the commercial on TV is over, they’ve got it!

However, I do think that for some reason I know more about the Revolutionary War and times than my grandchildren do who have all the information at their fingertips. Why? Needless to say I don’t have the answer to that conundrum! But I have an idea. I think that because they have the answers to anything they want or need to know, they only use it when they have specific questions to answer from teachers and school. Also, every single child I know is so busy with sports and other activities they don’t have time to read for pleasure or to search for the answer to historical questions.

About a month or so ago, my oldest grandson who is in college emailed me and asked for help on our family. Well, both Malcolm and I dove into a genealogy that we have had for ages. And when we sent what we had to him, I suggested where he could find a lot more on his computer and I was pleased to find out that he did and he got a great grade! However I tried to interest him that information long before he needed it for school and a grade. I don’t believe that any of my children or now my grandchildren have ever read the books that my grandfather wrote and are easily available at a library where he has a whole room dedicated to him and all his works. Actually I don’t think that my brother did either and he was named for him!

I guess I am going off topic but I am an avid reader and when I could really get around easier, I followed up with many of the interesting facts that were in books that I read. And now I have to just look up what I want to know on my iPad or computer. It isn’t as much fun but it is a lot quicker!

Here is an idea for you. Several times in my past life, I held a scavenger hunt for a group of young people. And it was just terrific. And now I think young people would still love it. And if you are a teacher or know a teacher they might think it was a good idea, too. So, here it is…Gather a group of young people together and break them into teams of equal groups. And then give each group a list of what they have to find. Now, here is the first thing you have to do and that is make sure that each team does the same things but alternate their lists so no one does the same thing at the same time. And here is the fun part, make it hard enough so it should take more than one day. Going to places in your town and finding a clue, having to look up certain clues and information, and just about anything else you want to include. It’s fun and they will learn a lot about their town that they probably never knew and it’s a great opportunity to use each and every bit of information available, anywhere.

So that is it for today! Go to your computer or iPad and find out who invented the scissors, the paper clip, a pencil and a ball point pen. Don’t be a poop, you will enjoy it more than you will think!

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