Spotlight

A Conversation on Mars

 

(Photo Credit: https://www.123rf.com/photo_49046804_mars-high-resolution-best-quality-solar-system-planet-all-the-planets-available-this-image-elements-.html)

In the year 2050, a lot has changed in the field of education. Most strikingly, many TPS teachers and students now live on the distant red planet of Mars. Mr. Thoma, a Potters School teacher, has had to learn how to grade papers, maintain a consistent class schedule, and simply get in contact with students on a separate planet, finally, after months of emailing, I was finally able to get an interview. 

 

Me: Hello Mr. Thoma! Thank you for meeting with me. I understand it can be difficult under the circumstances of living on a different planet.

 

Mr. Thoma: No problem! Signals on Mars have always been a little spotty, so my apologies in advance if they cause any issues. 

 

Me: No worries! How does it feel to be teaching on a separate planet?

 

Mr. Thoma: Since mankind has made so many leaps and bounds with time-traveling technologies and robotic assistants, it doesn’t seem so outrageous to be here. I thoroughly enjoy connecting with students who are experiencing the same issues and problems that I have to deal with in everyday life. You cannot just walk outside and hear the birds chirping. In order to leave the house, you must put on a super uncomfortable suit; by the time you get outside, it’s so cold that you wish you had just stayed inside. 

 

Me: Have you ever had any issues with the weather?

 

Mr. Thoma: Oh, you wouldn’t believe the weather we deal with here! One of the most inconvenient things my students and I deal with is the cold! On an average day, it can easily drop to -80 degrees Fahrenheit. The other concern is the dust storms. We get them a few times a year, but this red dust doesn’t seem to settle until months afterward and it gets everywhere. Another thing is that…

 

It was at this point in the interview that I totally lost contact with Mr. Thoma due to unknown circumstances. We continued the interview a week later.

 

Me: Thank you for talking with me again, Mr. Thoma.

 

Mr. Thoma: Oh no problem! Sorry, sometimes that happens here on Mars. Verizon still is working on building us a stronger cellular network.  

 

Me: What classes do you teach on Mars?

 

Mr. Thoma: I teach Introduction to Space Travel.

 

Me: What is that class about?

 

Mr. Thoma: I teach my students how to approach the colonization of a new planet. Especially in consideration of the possibility of visiting Pluto or Planet X in the next few years, young people need to be prepared to carry on the quest of exploring our local solar system. In my class, students learn everything from how to operate small rovers, to conditioning their bodies for the intense conditions they may experience entering and exiting unfamiliar atmospheres and unique weather patterns. 

 

Me: What is a normal assignment in your class?

 

Mr. Thoma: I generally ask my students to do a variety of tasks. These can include observing a black hole, analyzing Martian soil, or working on their main project of cultivating a crop of tomato plants in the harsh Martian atmosphere. 

 

Me: Wow, thank you so much for your time, Mr. Thoma! It has been so interesting to hear about what it is like to live on Mars.

 

Mr. Thoma: No problem. I hope to spread the amazing message of— 

 

Once again, Mr. Thoma was completely cut off by an overwhelming sound of wind and static. 

 

(Mars background info: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/mars/in-depth/#atmosphere_otp)

(Featured Image Credit: https://www.vox.com/2015/10/5/9443333/the-martian-review-ridley-scott)

5 Comments

  1. interesting.. Good Job! but unless there is a spaceship traveling in the speed of light, it might take more than just a few years to reach Pluto!! 🙂

  2. xd, this is great!