"Do you ever look at something and think, 'Now who first made one of those?' As a librarian and archivist, I love to contemplate how people come up with ideas and how they advance society. So, I got excited when I saw an article about staplers in the New York Times. (Yes, this is one of Ms. Mannon's quirks. I get excited about stuff like staplers.) But think about it...this little object helps keep us organized and we take it for granted every day. Before we had staplers, people used straight pins to clip things together. I know this from working for a long time in archives where I have seen many, many collections of old papers. After straight pins came paperclips, which took on many weird forms before someone, somewhere came up with the designs we find most recognizable today. Take a look at the NYT article, The Attachment That Still Makes Noise if you find these ideas intriguing. Think about what other every day objects have interesting stories about them. The simple tools that humans have come up with are really amazing! Maybe start your inquiry with those paperclips..."
I figured that this subject is a good way to get my students thinking outside the box and maybe even embarking on a little research. ;) Tomorrow, I'm talking to two classes about how to feel comfortable while doing an oral presentation. The life of a librarian / archivist is never intellectually dull.
Now, I just need to get rid of this nasty cold!