Monday, 22 March 2010

Physics, Chemistry, Cosmetics, Doctrine and Cats

A few weeks ago I watched part of a TV program about the solar system.

A very enthusiastic young man used nothing but an umbrella, a tin can full of water and a thermometer to work out how much energy is generated by the sun.

Being able to do this was why he loved physics.

Of course, he also needed to get to Death Valley, know how far it was from the sun to the Earth, know how to work out the surface area of a sphere, know that the Earth rotates around the sun, be able … and so on and on and on.

I always preferred chemistry.

Once upon a time I did a teacher training course and spent a while teaching a class of 13 and 14 year olds all about cosmetics. It was … shall we say … challenging.

I also taught Religious Education for a while. A similar age group studying the Apostles Creed. I’d mad the pint that it was all about doctrine. Towards the end of the lesson I thought I’d better check on their understanding.

“Can you tell me what is meant by the word doctrine?”

A boy raises his hand.

“Is it what you do to cats?”

He is serious. No one is smirking.

Somehow I feel that I may have given these impressionable young minds an erroneous kind of picture of what the early church spent its time doing.

I think that it’s never safe to assume that people that seem to be listening are actually hearing what you are intending to say.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I saw that programme as well and loved it. That "young man" is Prof Brian Cox, and is 42. He is also a musician famous for being in the group DReam.