Science on my mind.

Have you watched it?  I hope you have.  I don’t have television, so I’m always a bit behind, having to wait for Hulu Plus and all.  But I’ve already watched the first one twice, and can’t wait for the next episode.

Oh, wait, back up.  What’s this fabulousness of which I speak?  Only the mind-blowing, beautifully made, utterly accessible, and just plain fun Cosmos, of course:

I love Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Love-love-love him.  His brain is amazing, but his ability to help not-a-scientist me see and understand the things he talks about is beyond wonderful.  It doesn’t hurt that he was in a Superman comic.

This doesn’t hurt, either:

Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-and-Obama-on-Cosmos-Sunday-650x487

(… and neither does this.)

But never mind all that.  Cosmos is gorgeous.  I can’t wait to see where we go next.

I watch shows like this and, as much as I’m all giddy and thrilled, I also get sad.  Sad that I didn’t have decent science education when I was in school, sad that there’s so much I wasn’t exposed to.  Not that I was likely to become an astro physicist, but you never know.  I liked science.  I just never felt science and I were given enough of a chance to get to know one another.

We’ve had our moments.  When I was a literacy teacher, we had a great time with Lifetime is Science, a series of lessons geared at introducing concepts and helping students rethink their answers to the question, “Who does science?”  The three of us teachers got to be students for all of the lessons before we brought them to our classes, and I almost derailed that “Who does science?” bit.  It’s meant to be an all-class brainstorm with the teacher drawing whatever descriptions the students give … but in my family, the “who” who did science was my aunt, so when we were asked the question, I said “black women from Texas,” and that wasn’t what our trainer was looking for.  I really liked the lessons, and I learned a lot, too, which is always an excellent bonus. (As great as the messy-fun Oobleck lesson was, I think my favorite had to be the one where we made triangular and square bubbles!)

Before that, of course, there were the science bits from Schoolhouse Rock.  (Here’s the one on gravity.)  They were great, but the songs weren’t powerful enough to stay with me the way the grammar and history ones did (Preamble to the Constitution, how a bill becomes a law, the 19th amendment anyone?  Dare I say it … Conjunction Junction?)

Oh, and then there was Science Court!  I loved that show!  I tried to get my students to watch it, but they mostly wanted nothing to do with it.  And, sadly, it didn’t stay on air for long.

Science and I have been like the couple in that Christmas song by the Waitresses: meeting over and over again but never quite getting together.  Until …

_____

Enjoy many, many more slices at Twp Writing Teachers.

SOL image 2014

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8 thoughts on “Science on my mind.

  1. cmargocs

    What an interesting perspective you bring to “Cosmos”! I am loving the show, too. I’m really glad to read that it speaks to the ‘non-scientist’ in you…though we really are all scientists, in some form or fashion, as long as we wonder about our world.

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  2. I remember watching Cosmos “back in the day”…and being entranced. I was very eager to see this one but am finding all the ads interrupting the show’s flow so very, very intrusive. This is material that should be watchable in its entirety. Tyson is fabulous. The content is fabulous. Why o why did PBS not fund this show so we could see it uninterrupted. I’d watch this over Downton flippin’ Abbey any day of week or minute of day. I tried watching it online on Fox. Hulu Plus has the ads, as well. I’m hoping Netflix gets it one day. Sigh.

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    1. Pat, I’m with you. I’m so unhappy with the commercial breaks. Because I don’t have television, I’m not used to having to deal with commercials, and watching shows on Hulu drives me a little crazy with that. This is definitely a show that should have been produced by PBS. The fact that it wasn’t comes through in some annoying ways that began to prickle as I watched the second episode, but I’m still enjoying the show. It will be much better when I can get the DVD … and watch it on someone’s big-screen TV!

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  3. I should really check out the new Cosmos. Glad to hear you liked it! We don’t watch much current TV, but this seems like it would be worthwhile to track down and fit into our schedule. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was very influential in the childhoods of several people near and dear to me (including my husband), though I never saw it as a kid. I welcome this chance to have Neil deGrasse Tyson be one of the faces of science for my kids to grow up with.

    I hear you on the Schoolhouse Rock science songs–I can’t remember any! But I totally remember several of the grammar and history ones.

    That reminds me, have you ever checked out songs by Symphony of Science? They have taken clips of scientists speaking (about science) and turned them into songs. “We are all connected” features Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as Bill Nye and Richard Feynman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk

    I also really like “A Glorious Dawn,” which is mostly Carl Sagan:

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    1. Thanks for the videos! Yes, I’ve seen some of these Symphony of Science bits. This and Autotune the News (of course) are really the only legit uses for Autotune as far as I can see. 🙂

      I watched the original Cosmos, but only an episode here or there when I was a kid. I always liked Sagan, though. I should see if Netflix has the original …

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