No no... not another sappy reference to John Lennon's wonderful and ridiculously overused song (sniff), even though it IS the time of year for it!   But imagine if you had a teacher like Richard Feynman.

I was watching these videos.  What a man!  He has the excitement of a child - pure gleefulness as he describes even the most simple things like rubber bands and how a train stays on the tracks. There is not one moment where he uses scientifically intimidating words or speaks over your head - he stays with you and spreads his joy in the subject. Just once - in the movie about magnets he seemed a bit ticked off with the interviewer (which was interesting), but he answers in such a roundabout and delightful way that it had my eyes popping out of my head.

I don't think science as a topic is exclusive. I wish *every* teacher could get just a little of this excitement for their subject. As Lawrence Krauss says "the biggest mistake any teacher can make is to assume that the students are interested in what you have to say." I couldn't agree more... I remember being bored brainless at school with teachers droning on endlessly about subjects they didn't seem to have any interest in, let alone much interest in getting *us* interested in as well. It was just bodies in seats, same old information, pass the exam, move along, move along, these are not the droids you are looking for.

I watch Richard Feynman and imagine what it would have been like to have him as a teacher. You'd have to be a pretty stubborn kid to resist his charms.  He seems like the antidote to the terrible concept being spread in the US at present, that intellectualism is elitist. You couldn't find a more down to earth sounding guy than Richard, yet listening to him for a few moments leaves it very clear you're not dealing with someone who is in the least simpleminded or unintelligent.  What an inspiration.  :)



The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism