WACKADOODLE: "Well, why is there gravity?"
ME: "I've no idea, that's a religious question."
WACKADOODLE: "It's not a religious question! Why is there gravity?"
ME: "OK, maybe not a religious question, but it's one science cannot answer."Today in class
I love my wackadoodles, the students swimming in the lowest depths of the class rankings, who keep questioning everything, a prescription for disaster in public schools.
This particular wackadoodle unearthed one of my prejudices. If a question worth answering cannot be answered by science, I label it religious. Some thoughts I should keep to myself.
Teaching (on a good day) reflects the fine line between ordered cortical thought and the mad, wise ramblings of the limbus. I have been reading Gravity and Grace by Simone Weil, and I suspect that that's where my odd assertion about religion popped up.
I heard gravity, started thinking grace, and, not expecting the question, gave an unexpected answer.
I might consider rediscovering my frontal lobe.
I am hired by the town to teach a curriculum tailored to meet the requirements of the state. As long as public school remains public I am OK with this. (I trust the collective wisdom of the good folks in Bloomfield over the maniacal machinations of Bill Gates or Mike Feinberg or their puppet Arne Duncan.)
You cannot teach science without bumping up against limits of knowledge.
The most important part of teaching is to teach what it is to know.Simone Weil
"What it is to know" is not limited by science, especially by the narrow view of what passes for science education here in the States.
Ah, look, there's an amoeba....and there's a corpse plant....over here is a yeti crab.
If you can look at a yeti crab and not wonder at the whole absurd and loving complexity of the biosphere, you may want to reconsider teaching children--they are far more interested by the fact that a yeti crab exists than its molecular make-up, and questions of existence put you on dangerous ground in a science classroom.
Charles Darwin was closer to the truth than we give him credit for.
And gravity? This inexplicable pull every object has towards every other object in the universe?
It may be a religious question after all.
The flying dancers are from the North Shore Civic Ballet.
The yeti crab is from the Pacific Ocean.