The Old Days

I teach all day long.  I teach and learn from the freshmen.  Today I learned a very valuable lesson: Freshmen Do Not Listen.  I guess they are listening to something, but that is not me.

I showed a clip about Lavoisier, then a clip about various elements.  I put them on the smartboard.  I moved elements, ions, and compounds around.  I talked about them.  I had the students to talk about chemical reactions.  I think maybe physical science is coming alive for them.

Then…one small voice and a hand in the air.  I worry.  It is a cheerleader, straight-A, type A and the question is never pretty.

“Um,  Ms. B…”

“Ah, yes?”

“So, like before people discovered Oxygen what did they breathe?”  There is not a smile or trace of a smile in her face, only worry.

“Rocks.  We breathed rocks.”

“Uh, ok.”

Thank God the rest of the squad was there to point out that I was just joking.  One even explained that you could use things you did not understand. (One presumes Science)

It was even explained by one of the squad that “the USA was here before Columbus  discovered America. ”   Don’t worry, I did not touch that ball of confusion.   Let the social studies people deal with that conundrum.

Rocks.  That’s right.  I was thinking rocks because of the perceived grey matter in certain heads.



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