So I had a computer problem today, needed a BIOS update that wasn't the right one on the Dell disk, and ended up on the phone to a support person. In India, it was 5:00 am, while it is afternoon here. It was warm and humid there, snowing here. My daughter stood by my shoulder while I chatted with the support person, and when he took control of the computer remotely like they can do these days, she was overcome with amazement as my pointer moved like a spirit was controlling it, clicking on menu items with ghostly typing in the boxes appearing like magic on the screen. When I told her that the man who was controlling it was halfway around the world, she was even more astounded.
Later, we found India on the globe, looked at how far away it is, talked about how the technology we have today can connect us in incredible ways, letting people we've never seen and will never meet help us. We talked about the earth's rotation, how it is light here, but the sun isn't shining there yet. And about lattitude and longitude, climate differences, how the man I was speaking with never sees snow, while it is 26 degrees outside here.
I love how learning springs from seemingly inconsequential events, how children are still capable of so much wonder, surprise, amazement. When I was a kid, the other side of the world was something remote and academic. When I got my ham radio license and actually spoke to someone in Japan once, it was an incredible thing, almost unimaginable. To today's kids, they might be chatting with someone in Delhi soon when they have a computer issue of their own. Or they might meet French teenager or a women from Japan in a chatroom or on a list. Our own family has stayed with two wonderful families, one in England and one in Spain that I met online. The world has become smaller, and our ability to meet and interact with people of very different cultures has increased dramatically.