It was in the first month of my tenure as computer teacher. I was sitting in front of a Mac LCII that needed some attention. When I looked up, there was a second grader standing beside me. "Hello," I said, pausing in my repairs.
The kid didn't move. He stood transfixed.
"Where are you supposed to be," I asked, assuming the response would have something to do with being at recess and then scurrying off.
"What'cha doin'?" He didn't move.
I turned to face him. "I'm fixing this computer."
"You can do that?"
My concerns about this kid's whereabouts faded abruptly as pride kicked in: "Well, I think I can."
That was sixteen years ago. The kid's name was Denny, and he will always be a special one in my book. Since then, I have had plenty of kids who were fascinated by my ability to make lights and sound come out of a box. These days there aren't as many. We now have plenty of kids who show up in my class with more technology in their backpacks than we offer them in "the lab."
Thank goodness for kindergartners. Even though most of these kids show up with some idea of screens and mice and clicking and Internet, they will still hold still for Mister Caven's demonstrations. They sit, every bit as transfixed as Denny once was, and stare as I open a drawing program. They applaud as I show them how to make straight lines, red lines, blue circles, and then erase them all to start again. They are anxious to get a chance to do this for themselves, but they still appreciate the show.
I know that the time is coming when my room full of computers running Windows XP will seem like visiting a museum, but for now, I'm reveling in the wonder I can still bring.