Editor’s note: This is the second in a pair of columns by Jim Wimmer looking into the future of Newton.

Let’s daydream a little and look forward to 2111.
Newton’s health care is second to none. All the latest technological equipment and treatments are available at our hospitals.
Online care is now a reality. One can contact their physician through the local community computer WAN. Sensors and diagnostics are provided to each household. They can be plugged into the home computers to transfer info back to care givers. The patient receives prescriptions from their favorite pharmacy by efficient delivery systems (as previously mentioned). Those requiring personal or emergency attention will be transported to a clinic or hospital (according to priority of need) by our Med Tran system, which is staffed by qualified professionals. FYI, all homes are furnished with an emergency calling system that is voice activated from any location in the house.
One of the biggest changes has come in the educational system. Traditional schools no longer exist between sixth grade and college. The trend in home schooling has reached a zenith.
After sixth grade, each student in each house is supplied with an Ed Booth. The booth is furnished with a comfortable lounge chair, adjustable lighting and a set of special headphones. The student is required to stay in the Ed Both six hours each day, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., four days a week.
When the student enters the booth, an iris scan identifies them so correct credit is given. Failure to do correct booth time results in suspension of all home privileges and sends a report to School Central.
Once secure in the booth, the headphones play some relaxing tones to get the student in the mood for learning (a semi hypnotic state), and then the daily lessons begin. Comprehension is tested after each lesson to see if remediation is necessary. These subliminal lessons have provided good results. A newer educational tool is in the works. An inter-cranial implant that can be accessed with external attachments will provide a means for life- long learning. The implants will address the correct parts of the brain for optimal speed in learning and retention. The implants have been tested and are preferred over the previously tested external USB ports connected to the cerebral cortex.
Students will be required to attend off hour’s physical education and exercise classes in an approved School Central gym to avoid weight problems due to this somewhat sedentary style of education. Weigh-ins will be taken before each session to avoid trends toward obesity. Failure to meet the exercise requirements will trigger a report to School Central for loss of other special privileges.
Automatic testing of student achievement and abilities will be regularly scrutinized to see if they are up to par. Students will be assigned classes tailored to their abilities in order to promote a more balanced work force.
Sometime in the next couple of years, interactive holographic wireless projections will be used in the Ed Booth to enhance the learning curve. The holograms also will give students the impression they are attending a regular class with instructors and other perks. These holographic projections also can be used by churches to beam their services to shut in parishioners.
All this home provided schooling cuts way down on social interaction. The fifth day of each week is therefore reserved for school social activities, such as clubs, games and dances. This will help provide students who are better rounded in all of their skills. After graduation from high school (which now only takes about 2 years), graduates will be directed to vocational schools where there are regular classes with hands on training or to classroom experiences in a college chosen for them, according to their abilities, etc.
Ed Booths are also made available to college students so they may review classes and do research. These booths work much the same way as those in prep school. Exams also are taken through the booth interface.
It is a new era for teachers. Prep school instructors will be trained differently. Grade school teachers will still have the same hands on type of activities but with special preparation for the transition to Secondary Ed, where students will be using the Ed Booths. They will have a library of instantly available questions and answers asked by all previous students. Discussion will be greatly speeded up. Ed Booth students will benefit and save time also.
Sports may go the way of the Dodo bird. Computer simulations, developed in the late 20th early 21st centuries can provide all the action of flesh and blood players. Special team coaches will input their play algorithms prior to game time and each outcome will be less than predictable. The same system could also be used for horse racing and NASCAR.
Military operations have all but come to a halt. Anti-social activity has been mostly eliminated across the world. Prompt physical elimination of evildoers has had a chilling effect, to say the least. An international police force patrols the seas and takes care of most activities off shore from the United States and other countries. U.S. satellite surveillance and photography have improved to a point where local criminals are seen and caught rather quickly. Shores and borders are patrolled by pilotless drones (much improved over early 21st century versions) that cannot be jammed or accessed by hackers. EWS (electronic warfare services) troops operate the drones from remote sites in the United States and provide any needed interdiction of illicit activities.
Hard to comprehend? Just think of all the changes in the world from 1911 to 2011.

Jim Wimmer is a local historian who writes a monthly column for The Newton Kansan.