Thursday, March 02, 2006

Three Days' Worth of Questions (And These Are Just The Ones I Can Remember)

The earth is, like, floating in space, right? There's not a pole or anything holding it up? Okay, so, what's under the Earth? What happens if you drop something, will it, like, fall?

Okay, so for those people who believe in it, if the atmosphere has these layers and then there's outer space... where's heaven?

***

So, um, Lance told me, I mean, he told me that, um, weed is good for your eyes. Is that true?

This conversation occurred in the insanely noisy cafeteria at lunchtime. So, before launching into a discussion of medical marijuana, I wanted to be sure I'd heard correctly.

You mean, is marijuana good for your eyes?

No, not marijuana,
weed!

***

Okay, Ms. Frizzle, I'm sorry this is off-topic, but, I was wondering, if we know all this science, then why do people still believe myths?

What kind of myths are you thinking of?

Well, like when it rains and people say the angels are crying. How come they say that?

***

All after-school programs were cancelled due to the icy, slushy snow slicking our sidewalks. (It made for a teachable moment, as the kids got to include some precipitation in their weather journals, even though we haven't set up the rain gauge yet to measure quantity. And the flakes were really thick at the start of the period, and much smaller later on, so I asked them if they could explain why. No one could. I left the question hanging to return to when we talk more about precipitation, to let it knock around in their heads for a while). Anyway, I'm home early. I'm going to make a chocolate cake with mocha frosting. Unless I take a nap instead. And by the way, only two kids wanted to do HS Prep, so I could, with an easy conscience, cancel it and keep my Wednesday afternoons.

7 Comments:

Blogger Chaz said...

Ms. Frizzle;

You mean that white stuff on the ground is not god's dandruff?

6:57 PM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

Chocolate cake with mocha icing? That sounds delicious!

8:54 PM  
Blogger the anonymous teacher said...

i have a freshman in high school who asked me, "is the world really round?"
i said, "yes, michelle, we've known this for quite a while now."
"are you serious, miss anonymous? because i just thought that was a joke."
"well, i have heard of people sailing off the coast of california and falling into space."
she just looked at me with this horrified face...at the end of the semester, i might tell her i'm joking.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the anonymous teacher:

Perhaps a teachable moment just passed by.

Does this student know the difference between "round" and "spherical"?

Two dimensions and three?

Maybe Michelle was suggesting she had heard Earth was a large FLAT pancake when she asked if it was round?

Possibly a pancake's relation to roundness and FLATness was passing through her suddenly troubled mind when she asked her question.

Maybe she had long thought Earth was like a basketball until someone troubled her by trying to convince her it was more like a hockey puck.

10:49 AM  
Blogger the anonymous teacher said...

I suppose I should've explained Michelle a little more before I told stories about her. She's an interesting girl...a little lacking in common sense and also very gullible. I have since explained to her that the world is indeed shaped like a soccer ball (because when I suggested "baseball," she wrinkled her nose and told me she didn't like baseball). I even brought in a globe to show her because she wouldn't believe me that the world is round.
Michelle asks questions like this several times a week. At first I thought she was doing it for attention, but, no, her mind is just in a different place. But she is an extremely talented artist. So, I've learned when trying to help her with her questions if I can somehow relate it to art, she gets it.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous He, Who Can't, said...

Reminds me of the story of the boy who asked the wise man what was beneath the earth. The wise man said that the earth rests on the back of a turtle. The boy asked, what is beneath the turtle. The man said, The turtle stands on the back of another turtle. The boys said, what is beneath that turtle. Without pausing, the wise man said, it is turtle all the way down.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the anonymous teacher:

There are many Michelles out there. Unfortunately, after a while, there is no one watching over them, editing or correcting the information flowing their way. After a while, nothing stops them from believing whatever they want.

Gullibility is, I think, a lifelong affliction. And it explains why so many people are so quick to believe conspiracy theories, rumors and assertions. As long as critical thinking is not part of one's mental mechanics, we're going to have big problems.

12:18 PM  

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