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?