13 January 2011

having my own kids in class

Have you ever had the privilege of having your own kids in your class? This is my first year to have the chance and I have both of my children in my class! It has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. I gave students the opportunity to reflect on the past semester and my son, JC, took advantage. I liked what he wrote and I thought I would let you guys read it.

You get out of a class what you put into it. That is something that my dad has always told me, and something that he has written on the white board. Coming into this class, I was rather nervous about the class as a whole, but several things in particular having my dad as a teacher, and physics in general.

In the beginning of school when everyone is sharing schedules with each other and asking what classes different people have, I kept hearing two things a lot. The first one was “I have your dad as a teacher”, and the second “you have your dad as a teacher?” I would tell them yes, and as I would tell them this, I would think to myself and wonder what it would be like. Not that it is some groundbreaking activity never done before, but it was a new experience to me. I have had friends that were seniors for the past two years, and they have all told me that he is an excellent teacher but it he will make you work for your grade. This was not a new thing to me, working for my grade, but I just kept thinking that this whole thing would end up being terrible. I thought he would always on to me about everything, he would give me extra work, and make me work harder than everyone else. This is actually the complete opposite that how thing actually are. He has been nothing but helpful, he is like a tutor that lives at my house. It has been a very good experience, and I am glad he is my physics teacher.

Another thing that previous physics students would tell me is that Mr. Bowie does a good job of teaching physics, but some of the concepts can be hard. This definitely did not encourage me. I knew that I was going to take the class so my thoughts about the class were rather irrelevant. I will admit I was nervous that I would not understand anything though. For the most part, I feel confident with my knowledge of physics that I have accumulated over the past semester. There were frustrating times like when I would do a problem and keep getting different answers, but that was a rare occurrence. The projects we have done have been a lot of fun and really helped me visualize the things we were learning. I would have to say shoot for your grade was a stressful project near the end because you really want to get all of the points and make it in the cup, but you have to be confident in your equations. Another thing that was frustrating is when my part was gone for most of the time so I had to do most of the work. The trig lab helped me also. Because trig is my least favorite thing and I tell myself often that I will never use any of this. However, it was cool to find the height of the stadium lights using trig. In addition, we watch some cool videos in there like the elegant universe. Physics definitely is not as scary as it was made out to be by other people.

So overall, having my dad as my teacher and taking a class I thought was going to be has been very enjoyable. My expectations have been (met) if not surpassed. I hope next semester will be just as much fun. I am really looking forward to getting out the Van De Graff generator and messing around with that, and maybe learning about sound too. I have high expectations for this next semester and I hope that they will be met.

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