Einstein Was Here

If my readers understood German, I would write that I am completely “geschlaucht” right now. Translated literally, that would be “tubed”, which, let’s face it, is weird. What we would really say is “exhausted”, or “pooped”, or “shattered”, or “whacked”, or “bushed”, or (maybe the closest translation idiomatically speaking) “drained”.

And I hardly had to work at all today! It was the final day of Science Week. The students set up stations and then showed one another their science experiments all morning long. My only jobs were to monitor them as they taught one another and to yell “Time to switch!” every 15 minutes or so. Easy.

Timewise, everything went smoothly and according to schedule (despite a few mishaps). I saw demonstrations of chemical reactions, adhesion, cohesion, friction, density, evaporation, condensation, action-reaction, recoil, solubility, and crystallization. I took pictures and feigned fascination and went in search of more baking soda.

And yet . . .

All together and quite accidentally, my students also proved the Theory of Relativity. Time seemed to slow down almost to a standstill. For me, the school day was about 12 hours long. Why did that happen? Here are my hypotheses:

Theory 1: Maybe it was because I had to keep my eye on the clock all day. (And to make matters worse, we have about five wall clocks in the school and they all show slightly different times.)

Theory 2: Maybe it was because I knew somewhere deep inside that when the last bus left the school, my semester break would officially begin. 10 free days in a row!

Theory 3: Maybe my tiredness was linguistically induced. What I mean is that every definition of “geschlaucht” seemed to happen to me today. Leo’s balloon rocket “exhausted” me when I stood behind it and “whacked” me when I stood in front of it. I got “shattered” after Dina dropped a glass beaker and I helped her sweep it up. I got “bushed” during recess while retrieving the soccer ball that had flown into one. I was “drained” while helping the kids clean up after their experiments, pouring one pitcher or beaker of water after another into the sink. And I was “pooped” when I stepped in stray cat doo-doo on my way to my car.

On the bright side, I got through the day without being “tubed”.

Let the vacation begin!


“A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.” — Albert Einstein in The Sunday Times (1976)


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