My name is Jonathan Adams and I am always interested in learning new things. I have recently graduated from the Collaborative College of Technology and Leadership with my Associates in Fine Arts and will be entering Appalachian State University next semester. There, I plan on pursuing a double major in Psychology and Creative Writing with, if time permits, a double minor in Philosophy and Sociology.
Learning is one of my most well-developed abilities. When I take the surveys that determine whether one is a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, my scores are virtually identical across the board. As much as my grades will contest to it, I genuinely love to learn all sorts of new things. I am passionate about the pursuit of knowledge even if I am not so passionate about the work involved.
Admittedly, my passion dwindles significantly in areas of mathematics or science. That is not to say that I am never interested in those areas, just that I find them harder to get into. For instance, I flail helplessly if confronted with Algebra or Calculus because they simply fail to grasp my attention. When I studied geometry and trigonometry, however, the story was much different. I remember being particularly fascinated with the unit circle and understanding the concepts of tangent, cotangent, sine, cosine, secants, and cosecants. For some reason, the visual application of mathematics made it seem much more tangible, for me.
My geometry class also had a very interesting teacher. I remember having a Socratic seminar about numbers as philosophical constructs. It made me see math in an entirely different light when he explained what it was about mathematics that he found interesting. The idea that numbers are imaginary ideas that have no physical form or value alone, yet interact with one another in specific sets of laws and patterns was quite profound. In this case, it was the teacher that made me more receptive.
Teachers, in my opinion, are people worthy of great respect and I feel that they are not receiving the recognition that they deserve, in most instances. Standardized testing seems to be sucking much of the passion out of classroom. I do not feel that teachers should be instructed on how to teach. Teaching is an art, and I feel that we would have a much more intelligent and cognizant generation if they were allowed a blank canvas to create their masterpieces on rather than a color-by-numbers approach. Professors and students both suffer when schools become factories. No one is allowed to shine and everyone becomes increasingly the same, intellectually. Luckily, I have been able to avoid such a fate.
My experiences with school, personally, have been extraordinary. My teachers have all been (or at least have tried to be) passionate about their subjects and sought new and interesting ways to present the information to students. Their personalities were apparent in their lessons as they tried to instill their pupils with their passions. My U.S. History teacher, an avid tabletop role player, organized role playing sessions in which we were to assume the identity of the people we were learning about and discuss our ideologies. I was saddened that not many of my peers were appreciative of his attempts.
I apologize for the lack of flow in this biography. I am not used to, nor do I enjoy, talking about myself too much. So, when I do decide to, it comes off as choppy when I remember certain things. I'm introverted and introspective, so I have no difficulties thinking or reflecting on myself. It is communicating it that makes it difficult for me.
Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to foster a scientifically literate society by helping people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Nye has spent the past 20 years educating students young and old about science and understands the importance of keeping minds active after the last school bell rings. “Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime – the important thing is that it should never stop,” Nye said. “We’ve put together fun, free and easy activities that will make this the summer of learning versus the summer filled with the dreaded words ‘I’m bored.’ ” AN EARLY KNACK FOR HOW THINGS WORK Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has done most of his life. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his classmates. While working for Boeing in Seattle, Bill combined his love of science with his flair for comedy. After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest, he became an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Eventually, Bill made the transition to comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The 18-time Emmy Award-winning show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central. During this time, he also wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.” BROADENING HIS MISSION Bill’s passion for math and science translated into a love of space. His role as CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s large space interest organization, has taken him across the globe. And one thing Bill is very proud of is the MarsDials, two sundials on residing on Mars he created with Cornell scientists. America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He’ll pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements from his wallet. And his drive for helping others understand science is as strong as ever.