Monday, November 02, 2009

Of Science

I don't spend much time thinking about science. I lost my fascination for it early on. I remember looking at chemistry sets and thinking I'd make some potion that'd make me invisible. I loved the experiments like building an oven out of aluminum foil and cardboard (yeah, that worked - took about an hour to make the outside of a hot dog room temperature and still cold in the middle). I'd collect random junk like nuts, bolts, and wires because I was going to build a robot out of the spare parts. Roark does this now and I wonder why he's collecting all this junk. Now that this memory came out of nowhere I can understand better.

Sometime around 7th or 8th grade science class became more work and less fun. Experiments that I can think of now involved looking at rocks and classifying them (now who wouldn't get worked up over that - just the word classify makes me yawn). I came to dread science class, having to memorize the periodic table, geologic periods in order, blah, blah, blah so mind-numbingly boring who really cares. Which is sad, because I know there's still a spark of that childhood fascination buried down deep. I know this because I love reading about breakthroughs in medical science or potential new energy sources. Makes me wonder what options I might've explored if some teacher had simply made science fun again. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. There's so many factors that go into determining what one does for a living. However, I do think teachers, exceptional ones, can have a huge impact on the lives of their students. With standardized testing and prescribed lessons, creativity is easily squelched. It shouldn't be. We desperately need it.


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