Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do You Believe?

You can't see it, but you know its there.

Every year in Montgomery County (and maybe all or most of Maryland) we have high school "Physics Day." Once a year all the students taking physics get to blow off classes and go to a school sponsored field trip to Six Flags to see the application of physics in action. It's not all fun and games - there's a worksheet to fill out on the rides in order to prove you actually learned something.

Unless you were me. Or one of 13 other students. Because in JDS, we had a total class size of about 88 - and in eleventh grade we had the choice of what kind of science to take. So while all those other suckers were slaving over equations, Elan and I chose to be the only guys in our grade to take Genetics, along with 12 of the girls. Given that everyone else was taking physics, they couldn't leave 14 of us at school all day. And so we got the free amusement park trip, and absolutely no work.

It was awesome.

I spent most of the day with Elan and his then-girlfriend Rachel (the same Rachel I slaughtered my ankle over in the now classic post An Assortment of Stupid Things That I Have Done). Except the two of them were uber lame and would wait by the side and cuddle or make cooey noises at each other while I road the rides.
To be fair, this was before I became a roller-coaster fiend, so maybe I was a little lame too. But not likely.

I was getting on "The Riddler's Revenge" which is a ride where you stand straight up against a wall of a big circle. There's a safety latch about a foot in front of you, but no real way to strap yourself in, and plenty of room to move around. Then the circle starts to spin and you're pushed to the wall by the force. Then the circle starts to rotate up until you're facing the ground with nothing but physics keeping you safe.

I get on the ride and we're all waiting when one of the other students quiets everyone down without saying a word. He's a tall black kid with long dreadlocks, a top hat, and a cape.
And as the ride starts to spin he calls out to the riders in a voice an evangelist would envy
"Do you BELIEVE in centrifugal force?"

And every one of us shouted back "I BELIEVE in centrifugal force!"

I believe.

5 comments:

Skamanda said...

we did physics day too, at the six flags in nj! except we had to pay for our tickets. laaaame. but 1) i can't believe your high school offered genetics as a science class and 2) our physics sounds like the equivalent of your genetics since it wasn't a required class or well attended. also, no one in the physics class did any of the labs on the rides. but i do remember one kid took a physicsy-lab contraption on to nitro that reminded me of, but was not nearly as cool as, this: http://xkcd.com/249/

Jason Heat said...

Physics was actually one of the few totally required classes once you got to the 11th/12th grade years - you just got to choose when you took it. But I switched schools senior year and majored in theater, so I succesfully avoided ever taking a physics class.

Outside of basic 8th grade physics.

Skamanda said...

but physics was my fave! worst grades i ever got, but never did i have more fun with labs. or play more connect four in lab

Shylock said...

I believe.

Kristy said...

wow, I wish my physics class was that fun. I also wish I could have gotten out of physics. I had the pleasure of taking physics AND genetics in high school :)