Skip to main content

Need a new analogy

Many of the topics I cover when I teach anatomy and physiology are not intuitive. I have to find analogies to help my students visualize what I am saying. When we cover chemistry, I have to explain isomers. These are compounds that have the same chemical formula but different structures. In past semesters, I have used Tinker Toys to illustrate this concept. If I give each student the same assortment of wheels and dowels and asked them to build something using all of their allotted Tinker Toys, each of their structures would have the same composition but be shaped differently. They would be isomers.

Yesterday was the lecture on isomers. I spoke of Tinker Toys. I got blank stares. I have now hit the point where none of my students have ever seen much less played with Tinker Toys. That is so sad. Am I really that old?


RAnn said…
I didn't think we were quite there yet. I have a 20 yo, a 17 yo and an 8 yo and one huge difference I found over those years is that few of the big kids' toys when they were very young took batteries; now even the baby toys do.
Peter Brown said…
Yes, you are that old :-). (I still have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that my students cannot remember typewriters.)

Maybe try it with Legos?

Barb, ofs said…
My kids only have tinker toys because they received them as hand-me-downs. And they're plastic.

Your students MIGHT understand K'Nex. They were big when my son (now 20) was 8-11 years old or so. But not too many kids younger than that will recognize them either.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!