I am a mid-twenties avid intersectional feminist, advocate, fighter, counselor, and friend. I will be graduating from Bucknell University in May with degrees in Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies. I work with survivors of sexual assault and other trauma, and I fix computers for a living.
I often blog about what it is like to live at the intersections of a few different mental illnesses, queerness, and sexuality, along with posts about sexism, racism, rape culture, and LGBT rights. There is a trigger warning for these on my entire blog. You will see posts about depression, eating disorders, PTSD, panic disorder, and fat activism. This has been my safe space for four years now, and I reserve the right to ask you to leave it if necessary.
During classroom discussion, astronomy came up in my high school Geometry class, while discussing the shapes of planetary orbits, and how they differ from true circles.
Now, this is astronomy we're talking about. I do hope all of you know the difference between that, and that . . . thing . . . called astrology. Do you?
What's the difference?
Astronomy is a real science, makes sense, and works. Astrology is, well, bunk. And, if I weren't in school, and none of you were around, I would use FAR stronger language. Astrology is that stuff they print in newspapers -- you know, horoscopes and such.
Student B (who is very bright -- I can tell this already, even though she has only been my student for about a week -- Summer School moves quickly):
I love to read my horoscope!
Please don't do that anymore. You're insulting your own brain when you do so, and training it to accept things which make no sense.
What do you mean?
Well, try reading the horoscope for some other sign some time, and you'll see that a lot of things there apply to you, as well.
They do this by making a lot of vague statements, designed to sound good to anyone. Let me ask you this: have you ever had a bad day?
So have I. Have you ever seen a horoscope that told people they would have a bad day?
The whole class:
[after a moment of silence] Um, no....
Let's take this one step forward. Do people ever die?
Well, do you think their horoscopes mentioned, on those days, that they were going to die? Their horoscope was certainly wrong THAT day, was it not?
The class as a whole:
[silent looks of bewilderment]
This exchange only took a minute or so, and we then returned to the pure geometry of circles, so I could SHOW them why pi has the value it has, and not simply expect them to accept it on the basis of an argument from authority -- in this case, with me being the authority figure I do not want them to trust without question. To teach in any other way would violate very ethical principle I accept. I also had to put much effort into obliterating the lies they had previously learned about my favorite number, for many of them have been taught that pi = 3.14. It doesn't, of course. The tattoo of pi on my arm was helpful in this regard.
Yesterday was a very good day in class. Much was accomplished. Teachers like me LIVE for days like this.