Rediscovering Science

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while now. In fact, I’m logging in to my account after months! I have been recording my thoughts in the meantime, in a journal(the paper and ink kind), which is why I haven’t felt the need to blog. Also the kind of things I have been recording are mostly personal experiences with kids- inside the classroom and outside- and thoughts related to teaching specific to my daily experiences here, so I felt that a blog was not the right place to put it. But I just thought I’ll keep the blog going, for those who may be wondering whether I’m still alive, or whether I’ve disappeared somewhere!

I’ve been having a great time of late, teaching Chemistry. I’ve been learning a lot while preparing to teach, especially the history of Chemistry. Well, I did know that the atomic theory was proposed by Dalton, or that oxygen was discovered by Lavoisier(well, Priestly discovered it earlier, but Lavoisier recognized it as an element), but these were just dry facts back in school. I’ve been learning about the fascinating stories around these discoveries, and the thought processes of the scientists in those days.

One resource I came across on the internet, which turned out to be very useful, is the BBC documentary series, “Chemistry: A Volatile History”. The whole documentary is available on Youtube. It’s extremely well made, and I have been using it in my classes also.

Another resource, is a book by the famous neuropsychologist(I think that’s what he is!) Oliver Sacks, called “Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood”. The book is about his childhood, when he was deeply into amateur Chemistry, due to the inspirational influence of his uncle who owned a bulb factory, and used to talk to him always about the qualities of tungsten. The book is in a way, his personal account of the history of Chemistry and his own journey in understanding Chemistry. It also gives you a glimpse into the life of a Jewish family in England during the second world war. The book was extremely helpful in broadening my knowledge of Chemistry and its history, and forming a perspective on most of the things dealt with in the syllabus.

6 thoughts on “Rediscovering Science

  1. I am so proud of the kind of teacher you have aspired to become! One who is willing to learn with humility, and creatively show the students the wonders of a subject! We need more teachers like you my dear! Kudos, and keep up the good work.

  2. Chemistry is an amazing subject … I would have loved doing it much more than working with computers … your blog post made me go back to my school/pre-degree days when I used to imagine myself as being a great scientist doing silly experiments in my home “chemistry lab” (with stolen chemicals from the st.thomas college lab)!

  3. “Also the kind of things I have been recording are mostly personal experiences…”
    Don’t stop writing. People keep track of blogs to read about these personal stuff. If they wanted to know about general things there are better places to read about it than people’s blogs. Keep updating! Miss those regular posts…

    1. I understand what you mean, but many of the things which I’ve been writing in my journal are regarding my experiences with the people here, which I couldn’t put on a public place like the blog. But definitely, when I feel I have something insightful from those experiences to share with the wider world I certainly will. Anyway, thanks for writing!

  4. There are a few books back home which you might want to have a look at. They are all anecdotes about chemistry and how inventions/discoveries happened. Plus some books on interesting experiments, fireworks etc.

    Anyone fortunate to have sat in Prof. Antony’s chemistry class (as Pramode would readily vouch) will not leave without loving that subject!!

  5. I agree with Sabupaul. The entries need to be more regular. It is like mobbing the author for more posts than allowing him to be leisurely creative. But then that is the freedom of readers!

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