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English CBSE Class 9 NCERT Beehive Chapter 1 The Fun They Had Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

THE FUN THEY HAD

(Explanation)

1. MARGIE even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed 17 May 2157, she wrote, “Today Tommy found a real book!”

Word Meaning
Even Also, Show that something is a surprise or unusual
Headed Heading of the page, At the top of a page

That night Margie wrote about it in her diary. The date at the top of the page was 17 May 2157. She wrote that Tommy had found a real book!

 

It was a very old book. Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.

It was a very old book. Grandfather of Margie had once told her about books. Her grandfather told her what his grandfather had told him. He had told her grandfather that once upon a time all the stories or books used to be printed on a paper.

 

They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to — on a screen, you know.

Word Meaning
Crinkly Having folds or lines, Wrinkled, Not smooth
Awfully Highly, Very, Really
Still Not moving
Supposed to Expected to

People of old times, used to turn pages to read a book. Those pages were yellow and wrinkled. It was very funny that the words did not move on these pages. But the words are expected to move on a screen.

Difference between type of books and method of reading is expressed in these lines.

 

And then when they turned back to the page before, it had the same words on it that it had had when they read it the first time.

And when they again looked at the page they had read before, it had the same words on it. These words on a page were always the same as that the words seen for the first time.

 

2. “Gee,” said Tommy, “what a waste. When you’re through with the book, you just throw it away, I guess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it’s good for plenty more. I wouldn’t throw it away.”

Word Meaning
Gee It is an expression of surprise
You are through You have completed
Good for plenty more Can be used for many more

To have a printed book is a waste. Tommy guessed that after completing a book, one would throw it away. Thus it is a wastage. Our television screen has millions of books stored in it. Even now it has capacity to store more books. I will never delete a book from memory of my television.

 

“Same with mine,” said Margie. She was eleven and hadn’t seen as many telebooks as Tommy had. He was thirteen.

She said, “Where did you find it?”

Word Meaning
Telebooks Books that can be stored in television

Margie replied that his television also has capacity to store more books. She is 11 years old and has not seen as many books as Tommy has seen. Age of Tommy is thirteen. Margie asked Tommy where he found the book.

 

“In my house.” He pointed without looking, because he was busy reading. “In the attic.”

“What’s it about?”

“School.”

Word Meaning
Attic Storage space just below ceiling

Tommy replied that he found the book in his attic. While replying he did not look at Margie because he was busy reading the book. Margie asked what the topic of the book was. He replied – ‘School’.

 

3. Margie was scornful. “School? What’s there to write about school? I hate school.”

Margie always hated school, but now she hated it more than ever.

Word Meaning
Scornful Disrespectful, Insulting, Taunting
More than ever Of highest degree

Tauntingly Margie exclaimed about school. There is nothing that can be written about school. Margie always hated school. But now her hate towards school was of highest degree.

 

The mechanical teacher had been giving her test after test in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her head sorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector.

Word Meaning
Mechanical teacher Teaching machine
County Inspector Inspector of teaching machines
Sorrowfully Sadly, Having sadness, In a sad way

The teaching machine had started giving Margie more number of tests in geography. She had been doing worse in every paper. Her mother was worried and sad. One day her mother called the Inspector of teaching machine to check the machine.

 

4. He was a round little man with a red face and a whole box of tools with dials and wires. He smiled at Margie and gave her an apple, then took the teacher apart.

Word Meaning
Round little Fat and short
Took apart Separated different parts, Disassemble

The Inspector was a fat and short man. He had brought a box that was full of wires and dial gauges. He smiled at Margie and gave her an apple. Then he separated different parts of teaching machine for checking.

 

Margie had hoped he wouldn’t know how to put it together again, but he knew how all right, and, after an hour or so, there it was again, large and black and ugly, with a big screen on which all the lessons were shown and the questions were asked.

Word Meaning
Put together Join, Assemble
An hour or so About an hour

Margie had hoped that the Inspector would not know how to join the machine. But he knew. He repaired the teaching machine in about an hour. It looked a large, black and ugly machine having a big screen. All the lessons were shown on the screens. Questions were asked on the screen.

 

That wasn’t so bad. The part Margie hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She always had to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculated the marks in no time.

Word Meaning
In no time Immediately, Instantly

The work done by the Inspector was satisfactory. Margie hated the slot of the machine most. She had to put papers of her homework and answer sheets in that slot. She had to write her answers in a code language. This code language was taught to her when she was six years old. The teaching machine calculated her marks almost instantly.

 

5. The Inspector had smiled after he was finished and patted Margie’s head. He said to her mother, “It’s not the little girl’s fault, Mrs Jones. I think the geography sector was geared a little too quick.

Word Meaning
Scornful Disrespectful, Insulting, Taunting
More than ever Of highest degree
A little quick Slightly fast

After completing his work the Inspector patted head of Margie. Name of mother of Margie was Mrs. Jones. He said to her mother that it was not the fault of Margie. He thought that the geography section of the machine had become fast.

 

Those things happen sometimes. I’ve slowed it up to an average ten-year level. Actually, the overall pattern of her progress is quite satisfactory.” And he patted Margie’s head again.

Sometimes such problems come. Now I have reduced the speed of the teaching machine to the level of a ten year old student. Overall performance of Margie has been satisfactory. He patted Margie’s head and went away.

 

Margie was disappointed. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether. They had once taken Tommy’s teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked out completely.

Margie was not happy. She had hoped that the Inspector would take away the teacher for repairing. Once they had taken away teacher of Tommy. It took them about a month to repair it. The history portion of his teacher had completely stopped working.

 

So she said to Tommy, “Why would anyone write about school?”

Therefore she asked why anybody would write about the school. She did not understand meaning of school. She was being taught by a mechanical teacher at her home.

 

6. Tommy looked at her with very superior eyes. “Because it’s not our kind of school, stupid. This is the old kind of school that they had hundreds and hundreds of years ago.” He added loftily, pronouncing the word carefully, “Centuries ago.”

Word Meaning
Superior eyes Showing high opinion about oneself
Loftily Arrogantly, Unpleasantly

Tommy looked at Margie as if he was more knowledgeable. He told her that it was not their type of school. That was an old type of school they had many hundred years ago. Quite arrogantly and carefully he said “Centuries ago.”

 

Margie was hurt. “Well, I don’t know what kind of school they had all that time ago.” She read the book over his shoulder for a while, then said, “Anyway, they had a teacher.”

Word Meaning
Hurt Felt insulted

Margie felt insulted. She said that she was not aware of the type of school they had during that time. She stood behind Tommy and read the book by looking over his shoulders. Then she said that they also had a teacher.

 

“Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn’t a regular teacher. It was a man.”

“A man? How could a man be a teacher?”

“Well, he just told the boys and girls things and gave them homework and asked them questions.”

Word Meaning
Regular Of usual kind

Tommy replied that students of those days had a teacher. But it was not a teacher similar to that of our time. It was a human being. Margie was surprised. She asked how a human being can be a teacher. Tommy replied that the teacher explained certain things to student. He gave them homework and asked them questions.

 

7. “A man isn’t smart enough.”

“Sure he is. My father knows as much as my teacher.”

“He knows almost as much, I betcha.”

Word Meaning
Betcha I bet on it, I am sure about it

Maagie said that a human being is not intelligent. Tommy replied that human being is intelligent. Because my father knows as much as my mechanical teacher knows. He further said that he could bet his father knew as much as his teacher.

 

Margie wasn’t prepared to dispute that. She said, “I wouldn’t want a strange man in my house to teach me.”

Word Meaning
Prepared Not ready, Did not want to 
Dispute Debate, Argue

Margie did not want to debate on this topic. She said that she would not like a strange person to be in her house to teach her.

 

Tommy screamed with laughter. “You don’t know much, Margie. The teachers didn’t live in the house. They had a special building and all the kids went there.”

Word Meaning
Screamed with laughter Laughed loudly

Tommy laughed loudly and said that Margie did not know much about it. The teachers did not live in the houses of students. There was a special building where all the children went to study.

 

“And all the kids learned the same thing?”

“Sure, if they were the same age.”

Margie asked if all student learnt the same thing. Tommy replied that they studied the same thing if they were of the same age.

 

8. “But my mother says a teacher has to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it teaches and that each kid has to be taught differently.”

Margie narrated what her mother had told her. She had said that teachers need to adjust their lesson according to the mental development of each student. Each kid needs to be taught in a different manner.

 

“Just the same they didn’t do it that way then. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read the book.”

“I didn’t say I didn’t like it,” Margie said quickly. She wanted to read about those funny schools.

Tommy said that during those days teacher did not teach in that manner. If you do not like their method of teaching, you need not read the book. Margie replied that she had not said that she did not like the book. She wanted to read the book to know about those funny schools.

 

They weren’t even half finished when Margie’s mother called, “Margie! School!”

Margie looked up. “Not yet, Mamma.”

“Now!” said Mrs Jones. “And it’s probably time for Tommy, too.”

Margie said to Tommy, “Can I read the book some more with you after school?”

They had not completed the discussion yet. Her mother called Margie to come home to attend the school. Margie replied that it was not the time for school. Mrs. Jones asked Margie to come immediately. She also said that probably it was the time for school for Tommy also. Margie asked Tommy if she could read the book together with him after the school.

 

9. “May be,” he said nonchalantly. He walked away whistling, the dusty old book tucked beneath his arm.

Word Meaning
Nonchalantly Calmly, Casually
Dusty Dirty, Soiled, Ugly,
Beneath Under
Tucked Pushed, Stuffed
Tucked beneath his arm Put under his arm

Tommy casually replied that probable she could. He walked away whistling. The dirty looking book was put under his arm.

 

Margie went into the schoolroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her.

Margie entered the schoolroom in her house. This room was next to her bedroom. The mechanical teacher had already switched itself on. It was waiting for her arrival.

 

It was always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday, because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

It always switched itself on at same time. It remained off on Saturday and Sunday. Her mother believed that learning was better if a student studied at a fixed time every day.

 

The screen was lit up, and it said: “Today’s arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions. Please insert yesterday’s homework in the proper slot.”

Word Meaning
Proper Correct
Slot Opening

There screen of the teacher was already bright and a message was written on it. The arithmetic lesson of today is about addition of proper fractions. The message advised Margie to put papers of yesterday’s homework in the correct slot.

 

10. Margie did so with a sigh. She was thinking about the old schools they had when her grandfather’s grandfather was a little boy.

Margie put her homework in the slit with a big sigh. She started thinking about the old school during the childhood days of grandfather of her grandfather.

 

All the kids from the whole neighborhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day.

All children from the complete nearby locality, came to school. They used to laugh, and shout in the schoolyard. They would sit together in the classroom and return home together at the end of the school.

 

They learned the same things, so they could help one another with the homework and talk about it.

And the teachers were people…

They were taught the same thing. So they could help each other doing their homework. They could discuss about their homework and their lesson. And the teachers were human beings.

 

The mechanical teacher was flashing on the screen: “When we add fractions ½ and ¼…”

Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had.

Word Meaning
Flashing Displaying

The mechanical teacher was displaying lessons on its screen. Margie was thinking about how much children of earlier days would have liked their school. She was trying to imagine the fun they must have had in the school.

****

 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Word Meaning
Yellow wood Trees having yellow leaves
Diverged Divided, Separated
Long I stood I stood for a long time
Undergrowth Plants and shrubs under tress

The poet is standing at a junction of two roads. Two roads are going in different directions. Leave of trees are yellow, meaning that it is autumn season. Obviously he cannot travel on both roads. So he stood at the junction for a long time.  He looked along the road as long as he could see. There were lot of small plants and shrubs below tress.

Poet wants to say that in our life many times we face a situation where we will have two options. We will not be able to select both options. We would spend lot of time in selecting one of the options. We would try to visualize the consequence of selecting each option. But all events of future are not visible to us. Many of these would be hidden under uncertainty. 

 

Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.

Word Meaning
Just as Fair Similar, Equally good
Better claim Better option
Grassy Full of grass
Wanted wear Unused, Without wear and tear
About the same Almost similar
Poetic Devices
Then took the other Alliteration
Because it was grassy and wanted wear Alliteration

After some thinking, the poet took one of the roads. Then he observed that the other road was also equally good. After waling for some distance, he thought that the other road was actually better because it still had lot of grass on it. People had not walked on it. But after walking ahead for some more distance, he observed that both the roads were worn to the same extent.

In our life we would make a choice after lot of thinking. After some time we may start feeling that the other option was also good. We may also start thinking that the other option was a better choice. We feel this because less number of people had selected the choice made by us. After some time we may start feeling that both options are equally good. We may feel that both options are full of difficulties.

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

Word Meaning
Equally lay Looked similar
Trodden Walked over
Poetic Devices
Yet knowing how way leads on to way Repetition
I doubted if I should ever come back. Repetition

That morning each road looked similar. On the leaves spread on the road there were no signs of steps. I thought I would walk on the second road today. Next day I would come back to the junction and start walking on the second path. But he was aware that it would not be possible to leave the path he selected. He will never be able to come back to the starting point.

In our life while making a choice, each option looks good. We are not able to predict the consequence of each choice. Sometimes we feel that if the option selected doe not suit us, we will come back and select the other option. Most of the time life does not allow us this liberty. We can only move forward but can never come back. After getting older, one cannot achieve the youth. Time that has elapsed, is gone forever.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Word Meaning
Hence After this time, In future
Wood Jungle
Poetic Devices
I shall be telling this with a sigh Alliteration
Somewhere ages and ages hence Repetition
And that has made all the difference. Alliteration

After a long time from now, I would be telling after taking a deep breath that two roads were starting from a junction. These were going into a jungle. I started walking on a road on which less number of people had walked. This choice has made all the difference in my life.

Poet wants to say the consequences of choice that we make is known to us after a long time. At that time we would heave a sigh and talk about options which were available to us. We would talk about the choice that we made. We would say we selected an option that was choice of less number of people. Therefore we could make a difference to our life.

****


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