November 8, 2010
I have sported a limp in sciences ever since I began studying the subject, perhaps in third grade. It didn't click then and it never did. The concepts seemed abstract and foreign to me. My parents found tutors to help me but they were not able to make me love them. My parents themselves have never been scientific and at the time, the French textbooks prevented any type of assistance. I don't think I ever got around the "experiment" methodology.
I cannot use the linguistic excuse in order to avoid helping my son study for his science exams. My tutoring to him consists of me learning the lessons at the same time as him, and often both of us fail to understand . I lack the scientific culture which enables a parent to introduce science to his children in daily life. If I am on the beach, I don't talk about the sea life, I prefer to speak of the geography, or the history of the land: we speak of adventurers and famous sea battles. We speak of Victor Hugo's love of the sea.
I have been tutoring my son by correspondence in all subjects: physics and biology are included, and along with music and arts, I struggle to explain brushstrokes, flute melodies or the way the wheels of bicycles rotate. I have to cram all the physics and biology to teach him so he can fill the exam sheets for those subjects. I am convinced both our understanding is average, thus perpetuating the spiral of anti-scientific family culture. My husband's understanding of science is limited to finance.
However, I am proud of the traces of physics that have remained in my unconscious: those notions I picked up just by sitting in class day dreaming or filling out homework sheets while struggling or guessing in exams while suffering. These notions popped up at the gym when I think of how much energy (E) I need to do the lunges, how much strength (S) I needto carry the weight and for how much time (T) I can sustain the energy and strength.
Those notions apply to golf even more because it is such a cerebral game. While putting I have to examine the slope, consider the distance, decide on the strength. All these variables require applied physics! Physics are even a component of my pilates curriculum which often comprises of pole and equipment classes. The instructor, ever so eloquent in his terminology, mentioned the utilization of my arms as a "lever". Levers were the notion I understood least in physics. Rocket science!
I think with optimism and hope that my children will break the scientific barrier and plainly understand their physics! But one thing is certain: I will always be ready and eager to assist them with any Art History questions, exams or papers!