Ms. Crabtree was nearly 80, and she detested mobile phones and computers.
She told every new student, nothing good would ever come from using them. She thought they were the work of the devil.
She blamed every misfortune of the modern world on these technologies, telling all who would listen, how good things were in her day, without them.
She was also the librarian way back when Bellasini’s father attended Montville High school.
Computers were pretty new in those days, but even then, her dad was demonstrating his genius for these new technologies. Ms. Crabtree would always tell Bellasini, nothing good will ever come of your father, while he continues to play around with computers for a job.
It did not matter how many times, Bellasini tried to show Ms. Crabtree, how much information and knowledge, you could access with them. She would always just turn her back and walk off; muttering that they will just deaden your brain.
In a small corner of the library, there was a resource center, where students could use the one and only school’s computer. It was installed long before Bellasini started school. Nobody ever used it now, because it was just too old and slow. Besides, Ms. Crabtree would always make it very difficult for any student, to use their computer or mobile phone in the library.
This particular morning, Bellasini was in too much of a hurry to worry about, ‘the Crab’ as students affectionately called her, so she politely said hello, and walked straight on past her.
"Bellasini, you come here!" barked Ms. Crabtree gruffly.
"Yes, Ms. Crabbb-tree.”
"Isn't it a bit early for you to be in the library?" she continued. "Shouldn't you be in class?"
"But Ms. Crabtree, there is a special chat room discussion on William Shakespeare this morning. And it has already started. I need to use the library computer to join in.”
"William Shakespeare," Ms. Crabtree sighed knowledgeably. "Hmm, now there's a great man! Well you better hurry then child, as you do not want to miss that.”
"Would you like to join me Ms Crabtree?"
"No, no, child," puffed Ms. Crabtree. "I have a lot more important things to do…. You make sure you work quietly."
"Yes Ms!" mumbled Bellasini, turning to continue her journey to the resource area.
The old computer was covered with a thick layer of dust, which Bellasini had to brush off, before she could get to the keyboard.
The computer was very, very old. Luckily however, Bellasini's father had had a similar one, when she was a small child. She had played hundreds of games on it, so she had a pretty good idea how to get the old machine going again.
Switching on the power, the old machine sounded like a broken down airplane, trying to take off, as old hard drives, slowly came to life. One by one.
“Great it’s working,” mumbled Bellasini under her breath. “Now let’s see if this old internet connection is working.”
Typing in a few commands, she was able to bring up the internet. And with a few more, she finally connected with her father at the bank.
“Happy Birthday Pumpkin!" were his first words.
"Thanks Dad, I missed you this morning.”