I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while now. In fact, I’m logging in to my account after months! I have been recording my thoughts in the meantime, in a journal(the paper and ink kind), which is why I haven’t felt the need to blog. Also the kind of things I have been recording are mostly personal experiences with kids- inside the classroom and outside- and thoughts related to teaching specific to my daily experiences here, so I felt that a blog was not the right place to put it. But I just thought I’ll keep the blog going, for those who may be wondering whether I’m still alive, or whether I’ve disappeared somewhere!
I’ve been having a great time of late, teaching Chemistry. I’ve been learning a lot while preparing to teach, especially the history of Chemistry. Well, I did know that the atomic theory was proposed by Dalton, or that oxygen was discovered by Lavoisier(well, Priestly discovered it earlier, but Lavoisier recognized it as an element), but these were just dry facts back in school. I’ve been learning about the fascinating stories around these discoveries, and the thought processes of the scientists in those days.
One resource I came across on the internet, which turned out to be very useful, is the BBC documentary series, “Chemistry: A Volatile History”. The whole documentary is available on Youtube. It’s extremely well made, and I have been using it in my classes also.
Another resource, is a book by the famous neuropsychologist(I think that’s what he is!) Oliver Sacks, called “Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood”. The book is about his childhood, when he was deeply into amateur Chemistry, due to the inspirational influence of his uncle who owned a bulb factory, and used to talk to him always about the qualities of tungsten. The book is in a way, his personal account of the history of Chemistry and his own journey in understanding Chemistry. It also gives you a glimpse into the life of a Jewish family in England during the second world war. The book was extremely helpful in broadening my knowledge of Chemistry and its history, and forming a perspective on most of the things dealt with in the syllabus.