...or on a television show, or in front of the classroom, or in an advertisement, etc. It's impossible to pinpoint exactly where our subconscious gets the material that forms our self-image. It's even harder to decipher how the mind mashes up that information to create our worldview. Psychotherapists can spend years trying to help a patient unravel this complex web of messages, that can be so debilitating and destructive. Even if it isn't affecting your quality of life, that inner critic can be pretty opinionated.
Part of my motivation for pursuing science ed, is sort of a response to the teenage me. Despite showing some aptitude in science and math, I was bound and determined to avoid those subjects at all costs. Why? Because I was too artsy and journalistic for science? It was just for nerdy boys? It was too hard? I'd be hard pressed to say where these ideas came from, but that was the basis for my prejudice. And what a shame, because I think I cut myself off from some really interesting opportunities by listening to that misguided inner voice.
Even with only four classes this past week, already I've heard many of the same misconceptions about studying the sciences from my young classmates, that I entertained in my late teens. The message is still loud and clear from somewhere--artists don't do science, math is too hard, it's gross/boring/hardhardhard. It's an uphill battle against an unseen enemy, but I would love to be a teacher who could change that message.
I would hope to inspire kids to see the subject matter as intriguing, something to explore. I became a yoga teacher, partially because I was so taken with the discipline that I wanted to learn how to show my friends and family what an amazing practice it is. I loved the subject; I wanted to share the subject. And so it goes with biology.
By helping kids learn to explore the natural world, to investigate a problem and discover the answer, comes learning how to think for yourself and forming ideas based on your own experience. How about that as a useful, subversive tool? Get something pierced, if you want, but a truly radical act is thinking for yourself.
And the sooner they get that message, the better.