So, TheBoy is in sixth grade. Technically, it's the first year of middle school, but the district hasn't gotten around to moving the sixth grades out of their respective elementary schools yet (we're a regional district of three separate towns that have separate elementary schools but one regional middle school and high school). To get the sixth graders ready for life in middle school, they have different teachers for different subjects, and as such have different homework assignments for every class.
For his Social Studies class, his assignment is to bring an "artifact" - something from a previous time period that has been replaced by more modern items - and describe it to the class. My first thought, naturally, was something that couldn't be brought into a school (ahem), followed closely by one of my grandfather's nightsticks as a town police officer. Neither option was particularly viable, though; and then the Mrs. struck on an absolute bit of genius.
TheBoy will be bringing this in as his artifact:
Yep, we actually have a genuine rotary phone in our house. I salvaged it from the pile of stuff in my grandmother's house right before we sold it - an actual Bell Systems rotary phone! On the dial is the telephone number - only five digits needed - and my kids have been absolutely fascinated by the fact that you have to actually let the dial rotate all the way back before you can dial the next number. They've been playing with it for the past three days, "calling" all their friends to see whose number takes the longest.
And I can remember when that was the only phone available...
That is all.