Minden Future

by Sheila Gardner

Laynie Uhart is all smiles in Minden 2106.

Sure, the Minden Elementary School first-grader will be 108, but medicine should have caught up with her.

In Laynie's world, she's flying among purple clouds thanks to her jet-powered backpack, holding a steaming bowl of hot chocolate soup.

Classmate Cody Ball created a picture of himself about to devour a page of edible homework. "Yummy," says the Cody of the future.

Elsa Schollmaier portrays herself going through the "human wash" in her self-cleaning clothes while her friends wait for her on the flying school bus.

For the 100th anniversary of Minden, we turned to some of the town's youngest residents for a peek at the future.

Teachers Sharon Chappell and Janell Sheets, fondly known as "Chapeets," assigned the task to their 32 first- and second-graders, who jumped at the chance to be part of history.

The first problem to be solved was figuring out the exact date.

That involved a math lesson.

Some thought 2006 plus 100 equaled 3006. Once the correct date " 2106 " was agreed upon, the kids went to work.

At first, they were going to compose a story about Minden of the future. But with 32 authors, the plot line was very complicated.

So, the kids came up with a poem, "100 Years From Now ..."

Chappell said the piece was created by a technique she called "controlled blurting."

With Sheets taking the dictation, the children came up with six stanzas in no time at all.

To complete the project, they drew pictures of what their town might look like.

Miraculously, the children haven't aged a bit.

Christian Eckert, 7

In 100 years, Christian Eckert thinks there will no excuse for skipping breakfast.

"When you wake up and you want pancakes for breakfast, you just type in 'p-a-n-c-a-k-e-s' and they come out the microwave."

Robots will do everything from homework to tying your shoes.

Christian plans to be a NASCAR driver, so he sees a world with "really, really fast" cars, your own road and flying saucers.

You just think where you want to be, and you're there.

In your cell phone pants, you are automatically connected with whomever you wish to speak.

Does Christian expect to be around in 2106 when he'll be 107?

"That's His choice," he said, pointing heavenward.

Ryan Barnes, 7

Perhaps it's because his arm was in a cast, but Ryan Barnes envisions a world where medical advancement means quick recovery from everything.

In fact, if you fall, as he did, you won't even get hurt in 2106.

"You push a button outside -- it's remote control -- and it would change things so you wouldn't be falling. If you did hurt yourself, you just put medicine on it and you're all healed up."

Other advantages Ryan sees in 100 years include changing food into anything you want. For instance, broccoli becomes pizza with the flip of a switch.

Not only would the microwave prepare your meal, it will serve you, complete with knife, fork, spoon, and napkin. And, when you're finished, stick the tableware back in, and it does the dishes and puts them away.

Emily Didero, 7

Emily Didero plans to be living in world where stairs are made out of chocolate and bubblegum never loses its flavor.

It's a place where candy is as nutritious as cauliflower.

Your pencil works on command.

"Your pencil can do your homework for you in your own handwriting," she predicted. "You just say, 'the,' and the pencil will write it for you."

Emily said she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

"I like school," she said. "It's fun to learn about science and stuff like math."

She does see a downside to robot everything.

"I would miss the hugs from my teachers. It would be kind of sad," she said.


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