Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Teachers teaching

In my first year of uni we had 4 core legal subjects and 4 electives. The faculty of law recommended we take non law electives.

I took that advice. 

I took a writing class (best decision I ever made). I took psychology 101 (bored me shitless - too much history, not enough interesting stuff). I took a business class (god that was boring too) and I took Astronomy, evolution of the universe. 

I'm not great at maths (see previous post here it's a hilarious one) but it was ok coz the Astronomy I took wasn't math based, not entirely anyway. 

Instead we learnt about the universe, the solar system. The hugeness of everything. Sometimes the hugeness of everything would make my brain hurt - oddly comforting actually learning about how pea sized we are comparitively.

We learnt about umbras, solar and lunar eclipses, red shifted and blue shifted objects (one means something is moving away and vice versa - I think red shifted means it's moving away), and dark matter. 

We learnt about how the moon affects the tides (from the gravitational pull between the earth and the moon, the water literally swells to worship the moon as close as it can get). We learnt that unless you space travel you'll never see the other side of the moon. That anywhere on earth only one face of the moon shines down on our planet. I love that.

We learnt about how stars are born. And how they die. That the only certainty in the universe is that everything dies eventually, that our sun will die too. That the universe is changing and one day it will be gone. 

We learnt the difference between meteors and meteorites. 

I was the only student from the faculty of law in that class. I loved going to the 2 hour lectures. Our lecturer was passionate. Passionate teachers are amazing, they can make you feel excited about learning what poo is made of if they're passionate enough. 

Maybe one day I'll teach law. I'm passionate about legal theory. 

My sister took legal studies in year 11. Her legal studies teacher was not passionate. (We suspect she didn't really understand the subject matter as she used to assign reading an outdated textbook as their work, instead of teaching it.) I was in my third year of law at the time and she would send me questions via email. I would respond with novels in return. She took my emails and read them and explained what I had explained to her piers. I think one day her teacher got hold of one of my emails somehow. Maybe it was confiscated I can't remember. But weeks later my sister and her friends found themselves listening to the teacher explaining something about separation of powers under the constitution, using suspiciously similar phraseology to that used in my correspondence. 

I felt flattered. 

Not only that the teacher evidently now understood the subject matter she was teaching, but also that apparently I can explain complex ideas to 16 year olds. I used speeding fines to explain how the grants power works (again under the constitution), that's such a great illustration of why it is that parts of our constitution need updating. 

I get so fired up and excited talking about law. Be warned in advance, unless you're up for the greatest legal debate of our current times don't ask me about corporate "personality", or anything remotely connected to corporate jurisprudence (theory). 

(grins a little shyly)

Okay. I don't remember the point of this post now. Astronomy. The merits of passionate teaching. 

Have a great Wednesday. Hump day! 

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