The Day Dreamer

Image copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Image copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

A new year and the enthusiastic new teacher strode into the class. Long-haired, bell-bottomed and floral-shirted.

Sniggers were heard.

He switched on the projecter. “This is a Jacquard loom. See the card. There is either a hole or there isn’t. It’s an open-or-closed process, a yes-or-no-process. Now we call it binary, folks, one or zero, and it’s all we need plus a few rules or algorithms.

“Here you have the window to the world, to the brave new world, to the future.”

In the back row young Bill Gates shivered in anticipation, scribbled on his pad, scrawled the word, “Windows”.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ weekly 100 word challenge. It’s here.

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62 Responses to The Day Dreamer

  1. Margaret says:

    I love the teacher – he has real presence. Young Bill really did amount to something, too. Amazing.

  2. Amy Reese says:

    Yep, and we never looked back. Great take, Patrick. Now I want to know what went through Bill’s mind when he came up with windows. This certainly could be it!

  3. mjlstories says:

    Lovely piece! A really different take on those windows within windows.
    I’m old enough to have taught data bases with punched cards and a knitting needle (and I had hair like Brian May then according to my son).
    Do you know the joke about binary? There are 10 types of people when it comes to binary – those who get it and those who don’t.
    (Now if you write a piece on football, I’ll let you in on my one football joke.)

  4. Dee says:

    I loved where you went this. It left me wondering what I would have written on my pad and also how brilliant some teachers are at firing the imagination. Well done.

  5. Nice that we both opened up the same style window. Randy

  6. Very clever, Patrick. Sometimes a teacher doesn’t even realize what s/he said or did that lights a spark in a student.


  7. Well done, and a great tribute to good teachers everywhere! I’m sure even Bill Gates has a story or two for those that influenced him, dropout or not!

  8. rgayer55 says:

    I wrote loon on my paper. See where it got me?

  9. Melanie says:

    Great characters, lovely realization at the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I can totally see this as an anecdote of the Gate’s biography. 🙂

  10. I loved your story! What a great scene, and what a fascinating way to introduce the idea of windows as having occurred to Bill Gates!
    Nice explanation by the teacher, as well!

  11. Emilio Pasquale says:

    This is great. I never see Bill gates as a youngster but this works so well.

  12. draliman says:

    Very good! It could well have gone down that way.

  13. gahlearner says:

    I love it, and the maybe-bio. It also reminds me fondly of my math teacher who taught us the basics in a similar way. We did have these punch cards, too.

  14. Great! It almost felt as though you were there sitting next to him witnessing it.

  15. Sally says:

    I love the way the teacher is his own person and being such an inspiration to his students. Great writing.

  16. Loved it. Although I believe Bill Gates was a dropout. You never know though – that may have been the last teacher to teach him anything and he had already come up with his windows project. Great piece of flash.

  17. Dale says:

    That was great! Would that we had more teachers like this one!

  18. jwdwrites says:

    I loved the way your teacher just walked in, ignored the sniggers and delivered. Wish I had had a teacher like that!

  19. Danny James says:

    A good start of Bi’s bio.


  20. Cool… it could have happened just that way!!! Great post! 🙂

  21. Graham Lawrence says:

    Loved it!

  22. Honie Briggs says:

    Being in close proximity to many teachers just now, I found your story delightful. I good teacher inspires students to dream big. A good writer also does this. This is good. Very good.

  23. Sandra says:

    Excellent story. It reminded me of my very first job, where the ‘computer department’ went under the name Hollerith, a huge machine used for sorting punched cards. An inspired take on the prompt.

  24. Wow, this is great! The last line is a killer.

  25. Hester Miranda Alcock says:

    Mon Dieu!

    Sent from my iPad


  26. Dear Patrick,

    I seldom use the word brilliant but I will for your story. I laughed out loud at the last line. I’m pretty sure I had that teacher in high school. 😉



  27. micklively says:

    Myth and legend Patrick. How much serendipity did it take?
    Good piece.

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