Teaching In Socks

small rodents and big gorillas.
bridge to a future Robot factory?

bridge to a future Robot factory?

This afternoon I was greeted with a sight that I am less than enthusiastic about. The owner of the prestigious Indian restaurant I frequently dine at, walked by rather swiftly with the head of shopping center security team (Ako’s finest no doubt). In his hand, the head of security was carrying a high-powered flashlight. Not a mag-lite or something you would use to subdue a hooligan, rather the kind of flashlight you would want if you were looking for something small….and perhaps agile.

At this point, any conclusion I come to is pure speculation, but this is not usually a good omen. When I saw the security guard leaving the eatery he had a bit of a hop in his step. It is difficult to interpet what that meant. My thoughts: either something was dropped some place dark and unmentionable, or more likely, they had summoned security to help them secure the kitchen area from an unwanted, and most likely, non-human intruder. Needless to say, I will be going on a short curry fast–for religious purposes, obviously.

I do want to comment that I think this would be one area where Japan’s robot infatuation would be handy.  What’s preventing them from taking the “roomba” a step further and adding some heat sensors, small arms weaponary and a “kitchen sentinle” mode? Certainly not desire or demand…

In other news, it happened today. In my science class the proverbial “bomb was dropped and the bomb was mentioned. I must confess, I asked for it. We were wrapping up the unit on Nuclear Physics and I needed a short activity that was that was highly verbal, featured the original thoughts of the student, and cumulatively covered the unit. Invoking the spirit of Socrates, I went for “Benefits and Detriments of Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Technology”. For purposes of the class, this was titled “Nuclear Phsyics: Pro-Con”.

I had them write five ideas for both “Pro” and “Con” on a sheet and then went over them in a short class discussion, eliciting one idea from them each.  Being the curious idiot that I am, I amd sure I secretly wanted to see how many students it would take before the “a” word was mentioned.For those of your scoring at home, (now is the time get out your “Teaching in Socks” bingo” cards!) the answer was four.

I know for a fact the first three all had “atomic bombs” listed on their sheet but omitted it. I even saw the second student I called on mull over his list, look at me, and decide to dodge that landmine.  Not that he should feel ashamed or afraid to say it, but I appreciated the polite gesture in attempting to avoid something he decided would been uncomfortable for me.

I got to appreciate that sentiment for about 20 seconds. When the words “atomic bomb” were said, I replied, “un-huh” and wrote “nuclear weapons” on the board under the “con” portion of the list. I might have been subconsciously shaking my head, mostly in response to the internal though of “one year ago I never would imagined I’d be doing this” however, the students must have been keen to my body language, or just generally aware of the situation, as they started the ribbing the student who provided the answers with quite whispers of what I imagine translates into, “nice one” or “good going, idiot”. When I got to the next student, he claimed to not have an answer to contribute at all and the following students stuck to more medical aspects of the science. I don’t think it was all that uncomfortable, but I purposely misprounounced some words comically  at the end of class to try and lighten the mood regardless. We’ll see what happens when I teach the class again tomorrow.  I’m holding out for total mutinity.


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