Monday, June 23, 2008

The Raw Materials

"Mr. Reilly, I have a great idea for an experiment."

"Well done Tony, let's hear it."

"Alright, so you sit people in the haunted house and let them sit there all night. Then you ask if they smelled anything."

"…I…I don't quite follow, you're going to have to help me understand a bit better. What are these people supposed to smell?"

"The ghosts! You can smell them, I saw it on TV."

"Are you sure that's right? Have you ever smelled a ghost?"


"I'm not quite sure I believe you, maybe you should try another way of getting at the bottom of this."

Luckily, another group needed my assistance right then.

That conversation happened during the first class I taught as a student teacher.

I'm a newly minted high school biology teacher from Central Pennsylvania. Dover, PA, the small town whose school board's attempt to deny reality in science class famously ran afoul of the Constitution. On less than a gallon of gas, I can see a billboard that asks "Why do atheists hate America?"

This is where I'm going to write about my experiences, science, and education in general. Eventually I'd like to link to lesson plans that worked well.

All names have been changed and situations slightly modified to protect the innocent, and more likely the somewhat less than innocent. My students mean the world to me and their well-being and privacy are my first concern.

I'll be staying anonymous (hence Sal Reilly) until I get tenure.

Rock over London, rock on Chicago.