Hello, my dear followers! Miss Theodora Zheng agreed to write a guest post for Science, Books and Silly Things, and here it is. It has to do with what my blog (and my life) is about: Science and English (Or any language), the mix that some people may call “weird”, but it is not.
I am glad to host Theo on my blog. Her posts are amazing, pertinent and even fun. I hope to one day be a writer like her.
Without further ado, here’s Theodora and her take on how Science, Math and English shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
The most annoying kind of people are those who say, “You know, I’m not really much of a ________ person.” They say this and then they use it to justify why they perform poorly in the subject of choice.
You could replace the blank with any subject, really: English, math, history, science. But it’s strange. Students are taught that loving a “hard” subject (math or science) means that they can’t love or understand “soft” subjects (history or literature). And that’s not true. The three major loves of math, science, and English should not have to be mutually exclusive.
notes: From here on out, when I refer to “English” I am referring to all aspects of English, including literature, fiction writing, nonfiction, essays, grammar, poetry, etcetera. Additionally, Let’s begin with the premise that to truly love something, you must understand it. Therefore, the reason a person does not love math is because they cannot understand it; it does not make sense to them.
From elementary school, our failures in a subject are explained by differences in thinking. that originate from birth. A person who excels in math or science is “logical” and “rational.” A person who excels in the creative arts is an “artist type,” dreamy and vague and undisciplined. We are taught to think that loving knowledge is an either/or decision, and that we cannot love more than one “type” of subject. It’s limiting. When an “English kid” does poorly on a Math test, he is excused because it’s just something he can’t (and maybe will never) understand.
Compare it to the proverb “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” Saying that an “English kid” will never understand math and using that as an excuse to teach him negligently is like telling your significant other to stop trying to communicate with you because they’ll just never understand you. Sure, women and men may communicate differently, and they also act differently in certain cases (supposedly, women are inherently “docile” and men are inherently “aggressive”). However, women and men are not inherently different. Differences that arise in the sexes are a result of parenting and gender schema.
Minor differences in biology do not mean that men and women cannot reach mutual understanding. It also does not mean that children are born with inherent skills in math or science.
In both of these situations, this form of thinking is perpetuated by educators. In academics, the educators are teachers. In the men/women analogy, they are parents. But think about it: just like all men and women and in-betweens are humans, all subjects are knowledge. Why do we treat them differently?