I still don’t know how big a quark is!
1.) Something students these days should know.
One of my sons asked me the other day why kids know more than adults. He asked this after watching the show “Are you Smarter than a 5th grader?” I can see how he would wonder how a 30 year old working mother couldn’t remember which president created the Social Security program or if the term “nautical” had something to do with sailing or was it a term from the 60’s meaning, cool, groovy, or swell. When this same son asks me questions that require me to crack my neck and rub my forehead for increased blood flow to the brain, and when the answers come out something like, “uuhhh…go ask daddy,” I can see how he might think we are just products of poorer education.
When he asked this question, or shared this observation, I told him that all modern versions of education from my day to his, are in practice a lot worse than they were long ago. We are not as encouraged to think, philosophize, or question what we are being taught. I don’t mean to get political or anything, I just think that the old liberal college education has turned into something more like a glamourized trade school where broad understanding of several fields of study are just a blip in the degree-obtaining requirements.
Now, having said that, and add at least 10 years since gaining a bachelors degree, there are times when I try to recall what I learned in elementary school, high school, and college and come up blank. In fact, in my current situation (child raising) I have a much clearer memory of my time spent in preschool. Instead of wishing to memorize the periodic table of chemical elements, I wish I could remember that recipe for making play-dough or what that psychology professor said about kids who think its funny to moisten toilet paper and throw it on the walls and ceiling of the bathroom?
Actually, as they all get older, I find myself wishing I could remember the geometric equation for making the best slope for toy race cars. As new quandaries arise and as I wish to not appear a total ignoramus, I have sought out books and websites for rekindling my
love/hate relationship with math. I finally have my times tables rememorized, can remember the names of the different kinds of triangles, and still think that math is and always will be the torture method when used correctly, to make any covert agent spill all.
Yes, the question,…where was I? Something students these days should know…that their parents aren’t as dimwitted as we appear but time, lack of sleep, doing laundry and more laundry (it’s a proven fact that washing cloths depletes as much as 45% of the adult’s grey matter if done constantly over a 10 year period—Dr. Burbington)*, …more time and even less sleep, have dulled their intellectual senses. That’s not to say they are gone, but are desperately in need a cerebral boot camp once in a while. (Is there a Biggest Loser show for brain loss? I’d win before it even began!).
One thing I do know as a result of much child inquiry: A googol is the large number 10100
Looks like this:
*Thank you Jeannette for helping us choose a nickname for our newest psychiatrist.
Here he is back in med. school never knowing what kinds of patients he’d some day have. It was somewhat sly of Dr. Minivan to hand us over to him, but I’m sure we’ll all get along and office furniture can always be repaired or replaced.