Monday, August 18, 2008

Mr. Physics

I was a ‘C’ student in High School, a ‘B’ student at college, and went on to have good academic success in a very challenging and competitive post-graduate program.

I only remember two of my early teachers. One was a seventh-grade biology teacher who made us walk around prairies and memorize plant genus and species names. He went on and on about how we should live in the mountains and grow food on fertile land. He might have had a point. But I later found out that he was kind of crazy.

The other is a person who will be referred to as ‘Mr. Physics’. He was my best teacher. His thing was the difference between what we know and what we think. Mr. Physics was probably three hundred pounds and would accent his lessons by putting his index finger on students and leaning on them. Although Mr. Physics meant well and was an excellent teacher, he would probably be jailed in 2008 on some sex charge.

But every day was about the difference between what we know and what we think. “Do you KNOW that or do you THINK that?” Over and over and over. The lesson was that we only know what we see. Early in the year, he pointed his finger at a girl named Lisa in the second row and pretended that his finger was a pistol, and yelled BAAAMMMM, and staged blowing her brains all over the wall.

He asked us what we know. Somebody said that Mr. Physics had shot Lisa in the head. Mr. Physics very correctly told that person that he was wrong and poked him with his index finger. All we knew was that a pistol had made a loud noise. We did not see a bullet. I think about Mr. Physics quite a bit these days. I think about the crazy guy sometimes when I tend my garden.

On that note, here’s some graphic photos from Georgia.

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