Last week we were asked about the use of technology for oral and aural skills. We were invited to draw up a list of websites that could be used in class for this. This reminded me of my very own website I had several years ago. It was a website I had created for my students. It had taken me years to create and students all over Israel used my webpages. It had a special corner with listening activities for students who were studying towards their matriculation examination (called "bagrut" in Israel). One terrible day, however, some two years ago, I found out that my site had been hacked and completely deleted by the malicious hackers. All gone, and no backup. I never managed to find the energy to start all over again. It was a great disappointment.
When asked to find Internet sites for oral and aural skills, I tried to remember the sites I had put up on my website. And then, completely by chance, I heard about the "Internet Archive". This is a non-profit organization aimed at building a library of the Internet. The Internet Archive is working to prevent the Internet - a new medium with major historical significance - and other "born digital" materials from disappearing into the past. In order to do this, the archive has been "crawling" the net from as early as 1996 and is archiving everything it finds. Using the "wayback machine" one can submit the URL of a website and see how it developed over the years. Take a look for example at the first Google page. This first snapshot was taken on November 11, 1998. Didn't look all that impressive then, did it?
With trembling fingers, I submitted the URL of my long lost website. Would the Internet Archive maybe have a copy of my site? Could it be that I might be able to revive it? And lo and behold! There it was. My own site in (almost completely) working order!!
I cannot describe how I felt. I was completely exhilarated. I quickly copied a few of its links to the course site and then sat back to enjoy the sheer sight of my site.
Exhilarated means extremely happy, overjoyed, electrified, thrilled and intoxicated. It comes from the Latin prefix "ex" meaning "thoroughly" and "hilarare" = making cheerful. Ex, by the way, comes from the Greek cognate PIE eghs with its superlative form eks-t(e)r-emo and I can, without doubt, state that I feel eksteremo exhilarated at the moment.
Or "happy" as Jim would say:
Anyway, if you ever had something get lost on the Internet, I warmly advise you to try and find it on the wayback machine of the Internet Archive.