The Teacher and the Class

(With apologies to Mary Howitt)

By Rob S. Rice

"Won't you link into my Web site?" said the Teacher to his Class,
"It's full of useful items geared towards helping you to pass,
"The entrance to my Web Site comes through a U-R-L,
"And those who care to check it out will certainly excell!"
"Oh no, no!" said the nervous Class, "for that we're not prepared!
"This talk of Netscape, Lynx, and stuff, has left us dazed and scared!"

"I'm sure you must be desperate, folks, with matter this arcane,
"Won't you then exploit this chance? I'm ready to explain!
"You merely skip from link to link, and learn to scroll and load,
"The Infobahn is no more fright'ning than a country road!"
"Oh, no, no!" said the stubborn class, "For we have heard it said,
"That with this sort of thing, quite soon, all reading will be dead!"

Said the Professor, coaxingly, "My class, what can I do,
"To lure you to the data that I've left prepared for you?
"My every note is on that site--and each assignment's there.
"So much stands by to help you learn, and nothing primed to scare!"
"Oh no, no!" fretted back the Class, "There's no way it can be!
"We freeze up every time we type past: Lynx h-t-t-p...!"

"Dear Pupils!" said the Teacher, "you're all eager, young and bright!
"Computers lie on every hand, labs open half the night!
"I have my own e-mail address--whenever you take fright,
"You can send a plea for help, be it in dead of night!"
"We're sure it's nice," the Class replied, "but it's just...well, you know.
"We'd listen to you further, but right now it's time to go!"

The Course Instructor sat him down, head resting in his hands.
He'd spent so many hours on this, despite his work's demands.
He'd formatted h-t-m-l 'til late into the night,
And uploaded, and tested links, and made sure all was right.
And so the Class next found him there, with features set and grim,
And got this sort of language, which they'd never heard from him:
"Like it or not, now you are caught, no use to whine or fret!
"As of right now you HAVE TO swim within my Internet!"

Alas, alas! How desperately they filtered to the labs!
And learned of Netscape and Mosaic, of downloads and screen grabs,
With aching eyes, they stared at screens and clicked unwieldy mice,
And humbly sought out compu-dweebs and begged them for advice,
Thinking only of averages to be preserved or made.
The fiend had made his home-pages REQUIRED for their grade!
They linked into the World Wide Web, accessed his dread home-page
And thought back of their foolish fears with agony and rage!

And so, dear little children, as you read this off your screen,
Don't snub well-meaning overtures until the prof turns mean!
Anxiety for the unknown leads merely to impasse!
And's that the lesson of this tale, the Teacher and His Class.