“Class turn to page 476 in your textbook.”
The children groaned and rolled their eyes. I could tell by the level of exasperation that they were eager to get to lunch.
“Now class, this is important. We need to learn about the past so that we can learn from it!” I boomed in a deep voice, reigning in the class. “Enya, why don’t you start us off?”
The little girl sighed and put her finger to the page as she read aloud, following each word.
“The United States was an empire from the 19th-21st centuries. It formed on July 4th, 1776 in Philadelphia, Penn.. Penn.”
“Pennsylvania.” I corrected with a nod. “You’re doing great, keep reading!”
“It aggressively expanded to occupy a good part of the North American continent. The United States would go on to fight against and alongside European Empires in two world wars. During the Cold War it faced off with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and emerged victorious as the world’s sole superpower.”
I snapped my fingers. “Alright good job Enya. By the way socialist is a big word! I’m impressed! Lerd can you pick up where she left off?”
“Okay teacher. Ummm.” Lerd scratched his head and waved his finger around until he found a place to settle it and moved it as he spoke.
“The United States could attribute much of it’s power to the vast amounts of natural resources at its disposal. In the year 2024 they began to tap into geothermal energy on a large scale. A geologic survey revealed that the days of the empire were numbered.”
I held up my hand in a gesture for him to stop. There was silence in the classroom.
“Does anyone know what they found?” I asked.
A girl named Kat in a pink dress threw her hand up in excitement.
“A volcano!” She beamed.
“Yes that’s right. A supervolcano! They called it the Yellowstone Caldera. When it blew in 2026, the United States was obliterated. But not before sending a craft into space. Do you know who was in that ship?”
“Grandpa!” Kat squealed.
Murmuring commenced between students. And a flurry of eager hands flew up with burning questions.
“Now now,” I held my hands up to diffuse the tension that had built. “It’s time for lunch. I’ll answer any questions when we come back from the mess hall.”
The children looked frustrated as they rummaged through their bags for their lunch boxes and stood in line for the air lock release.