Monday, March 22, 2010

Love Story

My kids choose not to be scientists. They are creative, as a scientist needs to be, they are good with numbers, and they love the natural world. But they don’t like working with theories, they don’t like numbers (good does not equal joy) and they don’t respond well to the way science is generally taught in school. But this year, something happened for the Oldest Child.

She has a male teacher. And this male teacher loves science, or at least he puts on a good face about it. Oldest Child said, and I quote, “It’s actually interesting. Not that I like it or anything, but I don’t HATE it now.”

And that, my friends, is a ringing endorsement coming from the child who firmly believes that Demeter is responsible for the crops and Persephone for the seasons.

So, thank you, Hal, for avoiding work and emailing this op-ed piece in the NYTimes.

What I get from the article is this: it’s okay for me to be a failure in the “encourage math and sciences” department because other cultures are not failures and they will make up the difference. Of course, that means that we need to open the borders, but you all know how liberal I feel about that anyway.

Remember in Dune how people had become uber-specialized? I’d like to see my personal world become that way. Not so Bene Gesserit, but more “sit in the sun and enjoy it while other people sit in their labs and figure stuff out” specializations. I’m doing my share--when there’s sun. I’m really, really good at sitting. I’m so good at sitting that I frequently reward myself with ice cream. People who are good in labs should also reward themselves with whatever labby people enjoy, like a new petrie dish or something. As for me and my very American-culture, Taylor Swift loving girls, we’ll get all artsy and tree-worshippy and leave the striving to our equal but more scholastic counterparts.

As Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam said, “The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows--a wall against the wind. This is the willow’s purpose.”


Irish Cream said...

Hal must've done some work because he missed the article about women in scientific fields, or rather their lack of presence.

The closing paragraph talks about how more women are going into math and science, but that they aren't staying there. It doesn't talk about how many women drop out of a tenure-track because they chose to have children/family instead. Yup, I'd say there's a bias.

Just be sure to tell your daughters that they are smarter in math/science than any boy. And, when your son gets to school, you can tell him he's smarter than all the girls.

Oh, and we "labby people" like sitting and eating ice cream, too. The biggest difference is that the ice cream is handmade with liquid nitrogen. Mmmmm, yum.

佩璇 said...