Storyworth: What were your favorite subjects in high school?

| March 8, 2022 | 0 Comments

Oddly, my favorite subject/class in high school was physics, mainly due to the teacher. I think his name was Mr. Jacobs, but I’m not sure. But I had physics classes with him in my junior and senior years. There was a lot of lab work, which I thought was really cool. I remember one lab where we calculated the diameter of a molecule. I loved the technique for doing so. You would have a dish with water in it. You‘d sprinkle some powdery substance on top of the water. Then you would take an eye dropper with a precisely measured non-soluble liquid in it. You‘d drop the liquid into the dish and the liquid would spread out on top of the water, pushing the powdery substance into a circle. You‘d assume that the spreaded liquid would be one molecule thick on top of the water. So, if you knew the volume of the liquid, you would somehow divide the circumference of the formed circle into the volume and get the diameter of the molecule. Even trying to explain this, I’m not sure I got it right. But I do remember thinking how cool it was to be able to do it.

I remember another class where Mr. Jacobs asked us to consider the possibility of inter planetary travel. Would we do it if we could? Very cool to contemplate. But all I remember from the discussion was Mr. Jacobs‘ frustration with the answers from the class. Kids kept saying that they’d have a hard time leaving friends, presumably permanently. Finally, Mr. Jacobs said, “Get over it! You’re going to spend you life leaving friends.“ I think he was looking for a more elevated discussion of space travel.

I was so inspired by Mr. Jacobs that I started college at Northeastern University as a physics major. What was I thinking??

Actually, I did OK for the first semester and kind of enjoyed it. At the beginning, the math was all differential equations and I understood them. It was in the second semester where I crashed and burned. That’s when you start having to learn calculus. It was as though the class switched from English to hieroglyphics.

That was when i decided I didn’t need a college degree and enrolled in the New England School of Photography in Kenmore Square. That didn’t work out so well either, but that‘s a story for another chapter.


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