Physics is Phun!

October 18, 2010

Whenever I’m talking to someone I’ve just recently met and I happen mention my major, I get a pretty surprised reaction. I’m a physics major, and while that might not be the most amazing phenomenon in the world it is a relatively rare thing. I’ve never heard of an “easy” major at this school, but physics is certainly not it. However, when I talk about my major I always feel the need to explain myself further, so that people can get a more accurate impression of me.

For the most part I assume that when the average person thinks about physics they picture a scientist with big white poofey hair writing incomprehensible equations filling up an entire blackboard. That image becomes somewhat accurate when you get into the advanced stuff, but for the most part it’s not that intimidating. At least for me.

LOL, JK. It’s hard as shit!

Every single person in my physics class is a complete genius, while I am a normal human being who doesn’t have a complete knowledge of all things mathematic stored in my brain. I know that struggling with a difficult class is nothing unusual, but look at scores from my first exam:

 

(At least I'm not that doucher who got a 10 out of 150.)

 

After attending every single lecture and studying for hours for this exam I only managed to squeak out a final grade of 53%. I tried my best, but there’s only so much you can do when you aren’t Einstein’s fucking reincarnation. Things like this really get me down; it makes me wonder if I’m going in the right direction.

I got into physics because of conversations I had in high school about the expansion of the universe, how light and gravity work, and all this really cool stuff that blew my mind. I was able to understand physics better than most of my classmates, and I realized that I just really wanted to keep learning how everything works.

I come from a family of teachers, and true to Cowell form I’ll soon be taking education courses in the hopes of teaching high school physics.

Why teaching? While I never liked homework, I’ve always enjoyed the structure of school. Same classes every day, a definitive moment (the bell) when everyone must move on to the next activity, and of course having summers off (though I’ll certainly be working during the summer). Knowing beforehand how my day at work will go is a reassuring comfort that I’ll be grateful to have someday.

Why high school? Although my love for kids is based on children aged five to twelve (the ages of campers at FCDC) I wouldn’t want to teach that age group in school.

Why? Because children are all retards.

If I’m teaching someone, I want to know that I can relate to them and understand the way they’re thinking. The teenage mind isn’t so different from the adult mind, so even though in a high school I’ll be older than my students I’ll still be able to think on their level and hopefully be able to help them understand the material. I know that physics doesn’t come easily to most people, and that since I’m in high school I’m going to have a lot of shit-heads that won’t pay attention or cooperate, but it’s well worth the trade-off of being able to at least talk to my students as equals.

The reason I’m so frustrated with my physics courses now is because I have no motivation to learn the exact calculus-based formulas that I’m currently being taught. I’m gonna be teaching high school physics, so the only material I’ll need to have memorized is high school physics (that is, essentially, Newtonian physics and a bit of thermodynamics). Everything I’m learning right now is stuff that I know for a fact I will never be re-hashing to my students, so finishing the course with a passing grade is currently my only goal.

I realize that to teach the basics I need to know more than just the basics, but the shit they’re giving me right now is seriously not applicable to any of my future teaching. My current class teaches how to do everything I’ve already learned from high school and freshman year, but in a super-hard calculus way that would be impossible to comprehend for anyone less experienced than me. Therefore, I will be using ZERO of this information when I’m teaching high schoolers.

I want to learn new and interesting things about the universe, not just re-learn old equations dressed up to be more difficult. I honestly love physics, but I hate my physics class.

I would keep ranting, but I have to go to bed now so I can wake up for physics tomorrow morning. D’OH.

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