Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Heads or Tails #129 -- "cup"

Sometimes I think Barb is just trying to get me in trouble with these Heads or Tails topics. Cup? If I were a Canadian, I might fool you into believing that the first thing that I thought of was Lord Stanley's Cup... but I'm not Canadian.

Cup? I'm a (reasonably) healthy American male. Good heavens, what images do you think the word "cup" would conjure up for me?

Nevertheless, since (I pretend) you can't see this weekly interior dialogue, I will try and fool you into believing... yes, I'll take a walk down Memory Lane instead....

It was just a coffee cup. Ceramic of some sort, I suppose, green on the outside and, at one time at least, white on the inside.

It was among my most cherished possessions, though, when I was a senior in high school.

I was one of about 10 guys in the AP Physics class. The class met daily at the obscenely early hour of 7:30am. Our teacher, Mr. C, knew that this was far too early for teenagers to be alert all by themselves, so he allowed us to install a coffee pot and bring our own mugs to sip during class. At least I think we were allowed to imbibe during class; the intervening decades fuzz the memory just a bit. If we weren't, what would have been the point?

I do recall, clearly, the deterioration of that coffee cup during the course of the year. We may have been in an AP Physics class, but the cup itself could have served as a class project for AP Chemistry.

Soap and water might have worked wonders to prevent this... but this did not occur to me initially... as the year wore on it became a point of perverse pride to see just how scummy the interior of this cup could get. It was a wonder there was room for any actual liquid coffee in there at all.

(No wonder so much of my innards have since been removed!)

Unlike all of my children, I went to a co-ed, public high school. But there were no girls in AP Physics. There was only one brave girl in our Calculus class.

This is additional proof that girls are smarter than boys: The girls figured out that they could get honors credit far easier by staying in chorus... and they all got A's. I remember being thrilled to earn anything better than a 'C' in those two classes. I even scored a passing grade on the AP Calculus test. The AP Physics test can be discussed on another occasion (it at least provided me with a valuable lesson in how to approach... and how not to approach... Big Tests).

I don't know what became of my beloved green coffee cup. Perhaps it became an EPA Superfund site. I do know that only one of my five children took Calculus in high school. None took AP Physics.

Remember "The Jetsons"? In the future, kids were going to take Calculus in kindergarten.

What happened to that hopeful future?


i beati said...

quite a story sanyd

Amanda said...

I was one of those people who preferred Math and Science to History or Languages... Let's see how my kids do in the future.

Grandma said...

I enjoyed every bit of that saga, from cups to calculus. I was a geek girl and loved all my math courses. But I certainly was in the minority.

Grace said...

My husband takes a coffee mug to work every January 1st. It doesn't come home or get washed until he takes his week off at Christmas-time. I can only imagine what it really looks like (it's a black interior mug). Thanks for the story.

Unknown said...

I think my kids do not make anything in school nowadays unlike us.... so, it is really up to us, parents right?

Happy TQM!
Happy RT!
Happy HOT!