top of page
  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop


It is amazing to me how time allows space for building and growing. This week, in our technology unit, we studied innovations in musical technology. Starting with the phonograph in 1877 - essentially a tin can with some wax and a needle playing Mary Had a Little Lamb, moving onto headphones and microphones made out of just a bit of wire and foam, to within 75 years having LPs, then cassettes, CDs and the iPod. Time and energy allows things to grow, develop, and become stronger. Graphing all that out in our timeline lesson this week helped put my world into perspective. We start from something small, and we grow.

Musical Timeline by Dasiyah and Charity

A week ago, I felt like I was at the beginning of a timeline. Our classroom came to a screeching halt and it felt like we were those headphones from 1910 - the bits of string on a wire. A whole lot of nothing, doing something (or trying to at least). For those who know how personally I take my classroom, my students interactions, and my job, having a student emergency is like having a personal emergency- for me. But day by day, time and energy helped our classroom run smoothly and grow into something worth shouting about. Obviously it is hard to reflect on a week, in a public space, without sharing anyone's personal struggles - but the analogy works - I swear.

During our time looking at timelines this week, I realized something. Good ideas can be expanded upon, or you can just go completely outside of the box and do something else great. The invention of magnetic tape holding sound allowed for the creation of the 8-track and the cassette tape. The phonograph paved the way for turntables, LPs, and CDs. The expansion of an idea allows for transformation. None of the inventions I just listed happened in the succession that I just listed them. Someone(s) expanded on one idea, while someone else was working on another thing. That is mind-blowing to me. While I am over here working on growing a certain aspect of my life, my classroom, myself - there are others who are growing on their own time. My husband reminded me of that this week - we are on our own path as the two of us, and that looks wildly different from others. And that is ok! Constant reminders of that help. My path is mine - our marriage is ours - my classroom is the different from others in the school. Everything is just as it should in our own parallel timelines.

Phonograph - 1877 Amplifier - 1962

Microphone - 1877 8 Track - 1965

Headphones - 1910 Turntable - 1972

Victrola Phonograph - 1925 Turntable - 1972

Magnetic Tape - 1928 CD -1982

LP - 1931 MP3 - 1995

Stereo - 1937 iPod - 2001

In the words of my first year para - "Do you, boo."

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

V: Academia, Teaching, COVID, Quarantine, Reflection

Being a PhD student during COVID has been an interesting experience. I had one full semester of the program during my time at George Mason before it became clear we were moving to online instruction.


bottom of page