Tuesday, July 01, 2008

When I was in high school, I had a zoology teacher...

...who taught with patience and gusto. Several kids--wankers, all--made fun of her because she was fat, and looking back, it seems unfathomable that she didn't know their whispered jibes were directed at her. Still, she remained unflappable in class and took extra time to work with me so that I'd stay abreast while my family and I traversed Greece for three weeks. Even at that age, I was fairly certain my future lay in the arts and that most of our curriculum would have little practical application in my adult life. But I enjoyed her class each day because she made the fundamentals of zoology tangible and fun. And now when I frequently read the science sections of the New York Times and CNN.com--I have a layperson's appreciation--in an indirect way, it's because of her.

So I thought of Mrs. ____ last night when I watched this Time Magazine interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host of NOVA scienceNOW. The erudition and passion with which he discusses life's atomic origins and Issac Newton's discoveries make me wish that when I was at the museum in 2006, I'd knocked on his door, offered him a mocha, and asked, "Can I listen to you think?"

It is my fondest hope that I one day interview Dr. deGrasse Tyson:


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