A recent renovation of Emerson High School in Oklahoma (literally) uncovered something quite unexpected.

Workers found almost 100-year-old chalkboards that had been covered up by the more current whiteboards. But these chalkboards hadn't been erased, and complete drawings and lessons were intact.




Check out a few more treasures the renovations unearthed for a little then-and-now comparison.

100 years ago, classrooms were quite basic. There were blackboards and desks — and not much more.

Not from the renovations! Image by Thinkstock.

Today, it's not unusual to see students working on iPads and computers. While the technology in classrooms varies greatly across the U.S. based on school location and budget, kids are certainly using electronics more frequently and blackboards far less.

Image by Brad Flickinger/Flickr.

The lessons in the early 1900s were a bit different than the lessons in the early 2000s.

You'll also notice that this teacher wrote her chalkboard lesson on the Pilgrims in cursive. Today, many school curricula don't even include cursive — and there's a debate over whether they should.

Back then, students were learning about how the Pilgrims stopped over in Holland before making the trip to America, a part of the journey often glossed over in schools today.

Today, most of what we remember about the Pilgrims involves those belt-buckle hats.

Happy, adorable pilgrim child! Image by Thinkstock.

To be fair, we've had almost 100 years of history happen since these chalkboards were last touched.

Teachers have a lot more to cover, meaning stories are occasionally simplified so that teachers can get to newer, cooler stories like animals that have traveled to outer space (a mere pipe dream back in 1917).

No cursive here. Image by Laurie Sullivan/Flickr.

Music class in 1917 looks like it was very much theory-based, although we have no way of knowing what kinds of instruments these students had available in their classes.

Unfortunately, extracurriculars like music are a thing of the past for some of today's students because of budget cuts. But for those who still enjoy music classes, they involve fewer chalkboards and more hands-on experiences.

Image by Thinkstock.

The detail on this chalkboard drawing, which may have served as classroom decoration, was pretty intense — and amazing.

Now we have printers for that sort of thing.

Puns! Cute! Image by Enokson/Flickr.

Although sometimes, the more things change...

1917:



...the more they stay the same.

2015

Image by Thinkstock.

For some people, every day is Independence Day. For Janis Shinwari, this will be his first 4th of July as an American citizen. And boy, he earned it.

"If I was in Afghanistan—if I didn't come here, I wouldn't be alive now. I would be dead." Shinwari told CNN Heroes in 2018. Shinwari risked his life for nine years serving as a translator for U.S. forces in his native country of Afghanistan. He risked his life everyday knowing that should he be caught by the Taliban, the consequences would be severe. "If the Taliban catch you, they will torture you in front of your kids and families and make a film of you." Shinwari said. "Then [they'll] send it to other translators as a warning message to stop working with the American forces."

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