Chemistry? Groan.


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Lectures can be a real drag.  Especially if the topic at hand is of no interest to the listener, lectures can make one hour seem like infinity.   I remember physics and chemistry lectures only for their length, not their content.  I tried.  I really did.  I was a good student, and I wanted to do well.  But my brain got short-circuited in that area, as well as in any mechanical interest in what makes engines work.  I could spit back the basics for a test, but the minute the test was over, so was my understanding.


History, on the other hand, always captured my imagination.  As did literature, grammar, or any other word-related subject.  I even enjoyed reading the stuff other kids thought was dull.  And then, later, in college and in my master’s work, I couldn’t get enough of reading about human behavior, psychology, the brain, and related issues.  THAT kind of lecture always lit up my receptors 🙂

Sometimes a history teacher can drone, and I’m sure I did my share of that.  But I really tried hard to make my classes event-related  and not just timeline-related.  Memorizing lists of dates and names is meaningless unless they are tied to what happened. This, for instance, is a depiction of the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Who was fighting whom?  What war? What time period?  Who won?  You should recognize the painting.  It’s quite famous. And its details should fill in some blanks for you.

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I remember memorizing the lists of all the kings of Judah and Israel, and the dates of their reigns.  I never, ever imposed that kind of thing on my classes.  It was busywork, and all it really accomplished was to make test-writing an easy task for the professor.  However, by telling a compelling story about a major historical figure, I tried to associate the human experience with certain names, times and places that would stay in the minds of my science/math whiz kids who hated the subjects I taught.

Sometimes a lecture is necessary, the only way to drive home an important concept; but it doesn’t have to be dry, dull, and boring.


8 thoughts on “Chemistry? Groan.

  1. Pingback: Meet Mr. Molano – Ladyleemanila

  2. Hardly remember much of what I studied at school, but I still remember memorizing history because the teacher’s scale use to sting on my palm. Loved the stories, but those dates drove me crazy and she always wanted the dates 😦 I rediscovered my love for history about ten years ago, but I am still not good with those years and dates. Enjoyed your post. A lecture becomes memorable only when it ceases to be a lecture.

    Liked by 1 person

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