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Physics: Amazing, Just Amazing! (Well I assume it is; I really don’t know nothin’ about it.)

I made a grievous error when I was in the 11th grade.

I  decided not to take physics since it had a reputation as difficult and tedious. Instead I took “general science” which was so vacuous and simple that I spent my class time writing spectacularly clever and humorous notes (or so I thought) to my boyfriend. No person in authority ever questioned my choice since I was a sweet and typical teenage girl who blended into a sea of sweet and typical teenage girls, and such girls had no reason to study physics.

Now, all these years later, I spend much time wondering how things work, and why I don’t know anything at all about the essence of the world. It is as though I am admiring the beauty of an intricately carved and decorated antique clock, but am clueless about the workings behind its face. Well, actually…I am as clueless about the workings of a clock as I am about the workings of the universe. Sigh.

Remember, my blog post, “A Book Worthy of Radical Amazement”? Yes! My New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge which I first saw in the library of a lovely country inn. Of course, I turned to this amazing book to learn all about physics. I was excited! Finally I would correct my 11th grade folly!

I read all the “basic” laws of physics. I read about mass and motion and momentum. I studied the formulas. I paid attention to what Newton and Einstein and Heisenberg and Pauli and Higgs discovered or theorized.

And I don’t understand a word of any of it.

Perhaps I should give up on physics and just write clever and humorous (or so I think) notes to you, my readers.

But perhaps not….I have written about the Higgs Boson in the past, and perhaps I will want to figure out what that one is all about. Sometimes I think about it in the middle of the night. Don’t you? Doesn’t everyone?

©2013 Margery Leveen Sher

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Reader Comments (2)

I also skipped physics in favor of independent study marine biology. A lot of good that did me!

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

What will now keep me up in the middle of the night is who was the CNO's boyfriend in 11th grade? The messages in 12th grade were clever and funny, especially when I read (some of) them in calculus class to my friends. Scientific? Well, no... And then there was the mishap in the chemistry lab at NYU... Is it possible that the CNO, being ever spontaneous and irreverent, found the "laws" of physics to be a stultifying bore and an imposition? Hmm...

January 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWally

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