Yes, we Boomers did have a ‘World Wide Web’ back in the 70s and 80s and it was even more exciting than your top ten Tik Tok twitchings! See, we had ‘pen pals’ organised in school and we would converse with ‘friends’ half-way across the world, using old-fashioned pen and paper (see glossary below), honing our second language skills and learning about foreign cultures. Yes, we mostly forgot about Pierre or Miguel once the summer holidays began, but for some, ‘Pen Pals’ became lifelong friends. There was something special about receiving that strangely dimensioned envelope with a letter marked with weird accents and full of references to weird music and weirder foods, and yet also touchstones of unexpectedly shared experiences.
Well, Ms. Crowley is bringing all the joys of Pen Palling back, forcing some sustained literacy (and patience) on this generation of Instant Gramaficators… with her TY French class starting an ‘email relationship’ with Saint-Alyrea, a French school in Clermont-Ferrand! Stay tuned!