Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Monday, August 16, 2010


NOTE: Sadly, this episode will have to be transcribed. The conversation occurred sans video camera and the Mini-Spy refuses to mock it up, citing reasons of artistic merit or some such bullshit.

MINI SPY: I don’t know why I took that science elective last year. It was so bloody boring.

ME: Yeah I know what you mean. Science gets infinitely more interesting the older you get. I remember in high school looking at the table of elements in chemistry and thinking WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT? I. JUST. DON’T. GET. IT. If the teachers had said to me, ‘hey kids, guess what? There’s this big black funky hole out in space that sucks everything into to it’ I might have taken more notice.

MINI SPY: Yeah I love space. Science was so much more interesting in primary school. The teachers at our school suck. Except for Mrs Such-and-Such, she’s funny as. We had her for sex-ed in grade nine. She starts this lesson one day with just the word ‘nipples’.

ME: Oh you’ve got to be joking me?

MINI-SPY: Nuh. She said 'nipples’...the whole class just cracked up. She got majorly pissed off.

ME: Well what did she expect?

MINI-SPY: I know!

ME: I had the worst experience during sex education. We were stuck in this darkened auditorium and subjected to embarrassing films for half an hour and then my family doctor emerged, Doctor Pagliaro was his name. To this day I don’t know what possessed me, but I asked him this question in front of all the year eights, something along the lines of ‘how long does it have to be in there before it works’

MINI-SPY: (cue: guffawing uncontrollably)

ME: It was pretty bad. The room went silent.

MINI-SPY: You are SO embarrassing.



Albion Love Den said...

I can't believe you asked that question!

By the way... what was his answer?

Dr Yobbo said...

Both science and sex get more interesting the further from your teenage years you get. Science is taught shittily at secondary (and tertiary!) level because it's all about setting up a system that's easy as possible to crank through assessment of - hence a bunch of rote-learned factoids get spewed forth for the later regurgitation, without ever getting into the WHY. The story behind WHY the periodic table is like that, and the dude who came up with it, is actually a cool story, but not a fuck would you ever hear it in school - not when it's easier to get kids to memorise atomic weights and numbers. That's not science, it's memory testing.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

ALD: 'It varies' he said, with a smirk dancing on his lips.

YOBBO: I must admit, most of what I've learnt about science has been self-taught later in life and borne of pure curiosity. The periodic table and the dude that came up with it are cool? Do tell.

yankeedog said...

That's beautiful!

You did NOT ask ‘How long does it have to be in there before it works?’?!? Did you? Awesome! You were the hit of the class that day, I'd bet.

Our sex-ed speaker was Dr. Short. There's one strike before the lecture even gets started.

Good stuff!

YsambartCourtin said...

Heh. Nipples.

Also -


Barnesm said...

Great story,so did you see the words leaving your mouth and just not been able to stop them or was it you were floating above your body and had no way of controlling what your lips were saying?

I despair of the way science is taught in most schools. Either it is the basic rote of factoids that the good Dr mentions above or worse its the colourful, messy gee look at this shinny experiment which is presented with no context and the teacher does up the front with no hands on for the students.

Its a pit because there are so many top science communicators in Australia and so many on-line resources that you can construct an engaging science curriculum that not only challenges but helps students build the foundations of understanding. Interspersed with inspirational videos of Carl Sagan,meeting real life scientists and visits to real laboratories or centres of world case science ie the Cyclotron.

But that would probably require giving science and maths teachers time and resources to develop these courses and not dump every STEM subject in senior school on the person who only just finished year 12 biology and was funnelled into Science and Maths at teaching collage.

Its not fair on them and its no fair on the students.

Steve said...

My sex ed classes were never that bad, and actually quite informative. The only uncomfortable movies I ever had to sit through were the ones on Drivers Ed. "Red Asphalt," "Blood on the Highway," etc etc. To this day, 22 years later, I have this fear of hitting a split-rail fence and one of the fence posts becoming airborne, launching through my windshield like a missile, and impaling me in the chest. That was significantly more graphic and life-altering than being given instructions on the proper storage of condoms.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

STEVE: HA!!! Crack-up. Yeah mangled wrecks really should feature a lot more in our driver education :-D I once got a hold of a police publication showing very graphic accident scenes. Burnt.In.My.Brain.

BARNES: Funny you should ask...I remember feeling very disconnected as if I was hearing my voice from inside a bubble...weird. As for you comments re: education. FUCK! They've had long enough to standardise something decent across the board. Maybe you should swap depts?

BART: Ooooo I like that hairy Dmitri!

Nipples :-D

YANKEE: More like the laughing stock...!

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