Classroom Country Portal

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To boost fluency and cultural exploration, the Bolles language department replaced the dated Ulmer computer lab by installing a portal that brings the culture to the kids.


“It is difficult for most kids to experience an authentic Hispanic culture without spending lots of money on exchange trips, so this new portal will allow kids to explore all the Spanish world has to offer.” said Spanish teacher, Ms. Gomez.


The portal was planned to be only a simulation, but turned out to be a real time traveling machine.  


Ms. Gomez added,“We figured this out when we lost Ken.”


Spanish five student, Ken Smith (‘19) said that the first time he stepped inside the portal he was a freshman but if he were to return, he would now be a 600 yr.-old conquistador. Smith’s class went to medieval Spain and he ended up permanently “absent for personal reasons” after missing the appointed return time at the end of 6th period.  


The head of the language department and dedicated advocate for the portal, Ms. Frizzle, claimed that she “repeatedly told the children to meet at the designated meeting spot five minutes before the bell or they will be left! I’m sure he’s actually having a truly lovely time in 15th Century Segovia… or whenever he is!”


Ms. Frizzle said Mr. Smith’s current–she meant past– location can be explained by him ‘time jumping’ into a time when Spain was colonizing South or Central America. “He must’ve sailed on a Spanish slave ship to the Americas most likely as a prisoner forced into slavery. But on the bright side, think of the college essay this will make!”


Students reported that Smith fondly reminisced on the good missions. He said, “Every class period we traveled to a new place in a Spanish speaking country which has made myself and all of my classmates, those who made it back, completely fluent.”


His whereabouts are still unknown, however, it is thought that he is stranded in the Brazilian Amazons. There is a search team of members belonging to the weightlifting class volunteering to go on the look for Smith during Activities.


The portal is used by all teachers who teach a second language which is Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, French, Latin, and our newly offered language, Klingon.


Rene Whitfield (‘20) said that “I was struggling in Japanese and I was getting tired of learning about grammar. But then they built the portal which showed me the beautiful ancient culture of Japan and now I am pursuing a career in Ancient Japanese diplomatic relations! I have only been caught in the portal once and ended up going to Australia instead. I was lucky, I only got one spider bite.” She added.


Others who ended up in Australia have not been so lucky and now our salutatorian is top of her class.


“Before the portal, I was scared to travel or even go to the store by myself, but now I am eager to travel to places that are out of my comfort zone. I believe that every school should have a portal.” said Jenna Wells (‘21)


Latin teacher Dr. Yeakel agrees with the portal being more than a way to practice language speaking, but also survival skills.


“The portal has not only made all children fluent in their second language, but the portal also teaches kids valuable life skills.”


Arnold Perlstein said, “last week my class and I trekked through ancient Rome on horseback. We had to hunt and camp by ourselves and even went into battle! On another trip to Turkey, we ended up pushing a huge wooden horse into a city. The soldiers said there was a surprise inside. We never found out what it was since the bell rang.”


In response, Ms. Frizzle muttered that she “should probably leave Arnold behind next time.”


Unfortunately, the portal has faced backlash because of the numerous occasions it has malfunctioned and students have gotten stuck in a certain time period or place, where they can never come back.


Fortunately, language and AP history scores have skyrocketed.


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