To get to the other side… September 30, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in education, engineering, geology, older son, physics, teaching, younger son.
Tags: humor, jokes, physics, students, teaching
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook may remember that I compiled a whole series of physics jokes. I was posting them daily for about two months. Some people loved them. I think a bunch of people also unfriended me because of it.
When I did this, I had an ulterior motive in mind: I wanted to tell them to my classes. I’ve found that students tend to listen better to teachers they think are likable. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the warm, fuzzy personality that many of my friends (particularly those in geology) have. I come across, sometimes, as a mean, nasty type.
And so the jokes…
They really do work. Students will loosen up and talk. They relax a bit. They smile. And most important, they don’t think I’m out to get them. Those endorphins do wonders.
The problem I’m having now is that so many of my jokes are physics related…and I’m teaching freshmen. While they all know about atoms and noble gases and protons, electrons, and neutrons, many of my jokes cover more esoteric topics. They give me blank stares when I talk about Heisenberg or Schroedinger or neutrinos…
There’s a part of me that would like to teach older students simply so that I have a more receptive audience. Or maybe my problem is that I’m teaching engineers and not physicists. Or maybe too many of them are from farms (see above comic).
But you, my dear reader, are a more receptive audience, right? And my kids…my kids know what neutrinos are…kind of. Maybe they’re just laughing at me because I sound funny when I talk about physics.
Incidentally, the punchline to the joke in the title, if you’re wondering, is, “Why did the tachyon cross the road?”