Why the fuck are my high school classes so boring?
Science and math are fascinating subjects and I’m thrilled to be taking them.
But one thing I can’t understand is why the fuck my high school classes are so boring.
In science we are plumbing the depths of the atom, learning about electrical charges, chemical compounds, molecular bonds — all the absolutely fascinating aspects of the microscopic world. The stunning hidden universe beneath our own that comprises everything we know and still remains a mystery in so many ways. These things we are learning have been a massive undertaking for humanity to discover; people have been murdered by countless religious orders in the name of science, people have suffered and died by infection, contamination, radiation to bring us the knowledge we are passively ingesting in class. But none of the wonder, the passion, the intrigue or the history of these discoveries is being taught. There is no excitement, no thrill, no mind blowing revelations. We aren’t learning about Galileo or Newton or Curie. There is no humanity being injected into this, what is arguably, the greatest of human pursuits. The quest for knowledge is falling flat and that seems like it should be a crime, or at the very least (and slightly less dramatically) a disrespect to the efforts of all living scientists and all those who came before to bring us the knowledge of the universe. The knowledge of the universe shouldn’t be boring and it’s just wrong that it’s being presented this way to students.
In math things are a bit better, at least our teacher is enthusiastic, encourages questions and likes the subject, which makes the classes more fun. But still, overall, the lessons are dull because they are just that — lessons. We’re learning about polynomials, equations, fractions and variables — the language of the universe, the single most important form of communication that has been devised over thousands of years by thousands of brilliant minds. Math is an art form, a profound set of expressions that describe our existence in logical terms. Math, like science, has had its share of suffering, its triumphs and tragedies. But we aren’t learning about Euclid, Hippasus or Hypatia. The art of equations is being ignored, the bewitching way math illuminates the contours of our reality is being overlooked, and it makes me sad. Math and science should be revered. It should be taught with joy and wonder. We treat our warriors, our athletes, our artists with respect and awe, but we so often forget to do the same for the scientists and mathematicians.
I want people in my classes to be amazed by what they’re learning, instead of just worrying about the tests and trying not to fall asleep. And I want to be inspired myself.
I know it’s possible for science to be thrilling. I’ve seen it. I just don’t want to have to wait for university to get a little bit of history, humanity and wonder with my daily dose of learning.