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ED's picture

The door is totally open

Well, I couldn't agree more with what everyone who's posted has to say. I too am bad at memorizing dry facts and I hate the lack of creativity that goes into the lab reports I've written ("the shorter the better" my physics teacher said last year). Having been inspired by our class, I wrote a ton in a document outside of serendip about a few things-- including thinking about the earth being flat/round and whether the sun revolved around the earth or vise-versa from a totally "uninformed"/raw point of view, which was a refreshing exercise. I found a cool website that reminds me a lot of our class (yes, I did google one thing while doing my "raw" thinking about the heavens):  I would post everything I wrote, but it's really a lot, and I'm assuming serendip is to be used as more of a summarized-writing sort of "place" (?)

I also wrote about how any question of "why" -- including everyday, casual whys like, "why do I always feel so groggy after eating pancakes" or "why isn't he calling me" or "why did she leave without telling me" are all observations that, despite sounding like questions in a sub-par romance novel, have the potential to be explored "scientifically", i.e. they all are observations that could be experimented on. I realize nearly anything you observe can be experimented on. However, I do have one issue with experimentation--- you can never exactly recreate a set of conditions or a context to "retry" something in... you can mimic the original scenario you observed, but simply because time passed, the original scenario has changed. But I guess that's why you only experiment on things that are recurring... a hypothesis is a summary of GENERAL, recurring observations ("the sun rises and sets everyday"). 

I really look forward to this class. On a totally different note (I will bring this up again in person to you, Prof Paul Grobstein): I think it would be excellent if we could have this class around a table instead of in theater rows. It's hard to have a conversation with my classmates about all this interesting stuff when I can't even see them. Do you think it would be possible to have the class in a different room??



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