“It’s a most peculiar psychology - this business of “Science is based on faith too, so there!” Typically this is said by people who claim that faith is a good thing. Then why do they say “Science is based on faith too!” in that angry-triumphal tone, rather than as a compliment? And a rather dangerous compliment to give, one would think, from their perspective. If science is based on ‘faith’, then science is of the same kind as religion - directly comparable. If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars. It would make sense to say, “The priests of science can blatantly, publicly, verifiably walk on the Moon as a faith-based miracle, and your priests’ faith can’t do the same.” Are you sure you wish to go there, oh faithist? Perhaps, on further reflection, you would prefer to retract this whole business of “Science is a religion too!”—Eliezer Yudkowsky, ‘The Fallacy of Gray’ (via)
I have spent the past nine years chasing the answer to the ever-illusive question “What do I want to do with my life?”. This chase has wound through two bachelor degrees, darted through explosions while working for Scitech, paused for breath in an office as an Economist followed by a brief dash into Psychology and a final sprint across the Pacific to seek refuge in Canada. It appeared that the harder I pursued it, the faster it slipped away and so it was only once I had decided to stop chasing that I was able to get close enough to see it.
So in quiet reflection one day in the rainforests of British Columbia I realised that I had already spent a good proportion of my life teaching. From helping fellow classmates at school, to tutoring secondary students during university, running mentor programs for 1st year Biology students, working with Scitech and even teaching Canadians about their local ecosystems. This desire to share my knowledge is apparently as intrinsic as my passionate quest to gather more.
Thus in hindsight it is not much of a surprise that my chase has ended with this application. Of course my pursuit of knowledge and the academic in me will undoubtedly take me beyond the classroom and into further studies, a masters or PhD in Education perhaps. But right now I wish to learn how to better my ability to share knowledge, to engage with children and to inspire them to seek out information and discover the world on their own.
My response in application for a place in the Graduate Diploma of Education. Tomorrow is orientation. Re-reading this, I’ve almost convinced myself it is where I should be.
I have an announcement to make: I’m terrible at breakfast.
Lunch, dinner… I can roll with the best of them, but when it comes to breakfast I don’t make the cut.
While this statement may seem a little odd… you might be asking: How can one be terrible at a specific meal? Apart from the minor hand to mouth coordination, essentially it’s not something that involves any real talent. Especially not when breakfast constitutes a crumpet or toast and a bowl of cereal. Right?
How wrong you are. I’m here to break it to all you people who have been living inside your crunchy corn based shells…. You CAN be bad at breakfast. As a life long breakfast delinquent let me impart some knowledge onto you all.
Having enjoyed years of ignorance at my apparent inadequacies, my blissful mornings were shattered by my then girlfriend, at the age of fifteen (read into this as you might… yes… she was at my house for breakfast at some point). She informed me that I was partaking in a great deal of injustice!! It was clear to her that I didn’t spread my butter close enough to the edges. Apparently I was too focused on the centre, I favoured the core of the toast with my butter and spreads and left the edges without the delicious products that they so crave. This of course was highly unsatisfactory. I took the advice on, and now you will find that the edges of my bread receive a much fairer deal and there is no location based disparity that may have once caused inter-bread conflict.
The next piece of criticism was by another girlfriend when I was seventeen….it was again bread related. Having resolved the butter distribution problem I was now however faced with a new problem. I was taking too long between removing the toast from the toaster and applying the said butter. On the production line that is the kitchen bench… every second counts. Apparently my tardiness affected the effectiveness of the spreading and ultimately the taste. You see if you leave the toast too long, it cools down too much and then the butter will not melt and spread effortlessly over the rough surface. Instead you find yourself in the midst of a toast resurfacing as you rip that upper layer off and reveal the uncooked layer beneath…or worse…the cutting board. This was not efficient and had to be stopped.
I rectified the issue and I was content again, knowing that my life of imperfect toast had come to an end. I could enjoy my warm, well buttered pieces of toast in peace and quiet. Or so I thought…. You see my toast was far from perfect as my elder sister pointed out. She informed me that I in fact do not cook my toast for long enough. The light brown crispiness that I took for granted as meaning my toast was ready was all an ingenious illusion designed to trick those less adept individuals into making the same mistake that I was. When you think its ready… you shouldn’t press the abort button. Instead you need to cool your jets, clear your head of those ever present images of golden smooth butter and deliciously sweet jams and let the bread cook for a little bit more. Then it will be brown and toasted enough not to go soggy with the butter but not cooked too much to allow the toast devouring disease of the charcoal to set in.
Now I was set. Perfect toast every morning, only few could dream of such a utopia. But this, alas, was not the end. My mother walked in on my breakfast antics one morning and after having watched me produce two pieces of toast up to her standards I then moved on and poured myself a bowl of Sultana Bran Crunch, topped up the bowl with soy milk (I am lactose intolerant… I will not stand for it!!!!) and prepared to engage in mastication. A simple task and having done so without spilling either the cereal or the milk I was convinced that my days of breakfast inadequacies were finally over. My mum then did this kind of realisation “ha” to herself…. As one might do when they discover an interesting new piece of information. When I asked her, what exactly it was about my breakfast habits that initiated such a response she informed me in a less that delicate manner… that I ate in the wrong order. I was then taught that long ago rules were set in place which clearly stated that at breakfast you shall eat your cereal first and THEN your toast.
A wave of disillusion swept over me. Would I ever get it right? Am I destined to do breakfast wrong forever. What happens if I want juice? Is there an order for that? Do I need to drink out of specific glasses? Or fruit? Is that a before cereal thing or after? Or am I only allowed to put fruit on my cereal in order to increase efficiency and prevent any problems that may arise if the toast sees itself getting pushed further back in the breakfast production line?!! I did some soul searching that day. And before I went to bed that night, as I mentally prepared for the tasks that would face me the following morning in the kitchen. I made a promise to myself, one that I vow to keep as long as I can.
I promised myself…. I would never eat breakfast in front of a woman again.