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“But you’re a scientist… March 6, 2012

Posted by Geek 20/20 in Lifestyle, Teaching.
Tags: , , , , ,

…you should know about this/ that/ the other”

Once people find out what I do they will eventually say this. Science for some reason means omniscience This is slightly annoying but what really infuriates me is the self-assured smirk always that comes with such a statement.

I can’t blame them I do love talking ‘Science’ and have to stop myself from boring friends and family.

Picture this conversation

“Miss, I don’t understand this question “, I am in a school as a supply teacher covering a physics class. Like a good proactive worker I go over. The question is simply discussing the relationship between frequency and wavelength for microwaves.

” You have all the information here, plug it into the right equation”, says I.

“No I don’t, What’s the speed of a microwave?” responds the student, beginning to whine.

“Yes that is a little tricky but you know this as well,” I say with a big grin. “Microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet are all forms of light. They travel at the speed of light, which is…”

“3×10^8 m/s” finishes the student surprised.

“See, you do know it” I say delighted.

Now picture this conversation, it’s the same day, same class, same questions, same student

“Miss , the angle of incidence is equal to…”

Again I go over I read the question. But nothing, a complete blank. I read the question again, still nothing. Panic bubbles up my throat. Hang on a moment, I sternly tell the bubble its been a while and I need think. I look at the student and say, “I’m not quite sure, I’ll have a think and get back to you.”

When I turn my back, the furious whispers begin

“She doesn’t know”

“She’s suppose to be a science teacher”

“This is what happens when we don’t have are normal teacher”

I spin round, “the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection” I glare at them, daring them to question my knowledge.

They don’t



1. sammyo123 - March 8, 2012

🙂 Great two stories about the reality of being a science teacher… I had a very big smile on my face after reading this post.

2. Geek 20/20 - March 9, 2012

It is funny but I was quite annoyed at the time. I’m learning to ‘roll with the punches’

3. Cherchez la Curl - April 16, 2012

Haha! I am a scientist too (well a mathematician, but we’re cut from similar weaves of cloth). I get that, too. Everyone assumes you must know everything! On the one hand, I enjoy having a nickname that rhymes with wikipedia; on the other hand I just want to watch e! news and give my brain cells a rest.

Geek 20/20 - April 17, 2012

Too true – I often watch kid’s programmes to unwind!

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