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A postscript to the recent discussion on which concepts to begin the yearThe first question that pops into my mind is, why didn't he do the demo to
with in physics ...
We had Parents' Day last weekend at the boarding school where I teach.
my end, it went by without a hitch. However, the teacher in the classroom
to mine, a veteran educator who teaches a conceptual physics course, was not
quite so fortunate. His course had been studying projectile motion recently,
and apparently one of his student's parents was not at all pleased with
colleague had been teaching.
The parent became very agitated. In the Q/A period after a presentation,
he exclaimed, "I hear you are teaching WRONG THINGS in this class!"
The teacher replied, "How so?"
"Well," the parent charged, "my son had an assignment recently where YOU
were teaching that a bullet FIRED from a level gun and a bullet DROPPED from
the gun when the shot was fired will both hit the ground at the SAME TIME!"
"It is not I who teaches that," the teacher responded. "The laws of
physics teach you that."
"That's LUDICROUS!" said the parent. "ANY fool can see that the forward
momentum of the SHOT bullet will make it spend LONGER in the air that the
"I can prove it to you mathematically if you wish," replied the teacher,
"but they will, in fact, hit the ground at the same time."
A pause. Then:
"This is witchcraft!" the parent hollered. "WITCHCRAFT!!!" And he
and stormed out of the classroom.
This really happened.
No word yet on whether or not the kid has dropped physics.
A previously undiscovered occupational hazard, apparently, with starting
your year with kinematics! 8-)
The Peddie School