September 2022

New Academic Year – Have a Great Ride

Merritt Pro Rodeo 2022

This year, for the first time in my life I had an opportunity to visit a rodeo. Even though my Ph.D. is from the University of TX, I never had a chance to see a real rodeo there. I also have never visited the famous Calgary Stampede or similar events. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be something interesting for me. I cannot even express how wrong I was. First of all, this rodeo was very special. For the last two years, the rodeo in Merritt was cancelled and this year, it started happening again. The joy of people who were there was very palpable. However, what surprised me the most is how much I could relate to it and not only because all the physics that goes into the horse riding or the roping events. Even though I have never lived on a farm or have learned to ride a horse, the skills the cowboys and cowgirls have been showing were astonishing. Yet, what was the most important for me, is how they didn’t give up even when something didn’t work for them. Even when the things didn’t work how they were supposed to work, the cowboys stood up and didn’t show how upset they were or when possible tried again. One could see how much work was put into acquiring and honing these skills and how much perseverance these athletes have. This hard work and dedicated resonated with me very much.

This is how I hope my students and I will be this year. I realize that teaching and learning physics are skills that takes a long time to develop and to hone. These are also perishable skills. You cannot acquire them and keep learning or practising. As much as we all try and prepare, some things do not work the way we wish. And I hope, like these cowboys and cowgirls, we will not give up and keep trying. As long as we all keep doing what we love doing and help each other, we will succeed and if not from the first time, then from the second, or third one. This is one of the key lessons for me this year.  Never give up and keep trying.

Like the visitors and the participants of the 2022 Pro Rodeo in Merritt, I am super excited to begin this new academic year and I hope we all will have a great ride. And if things do not work, we will keep trying. Happy New Academic Year to all the students, teachers and their families! Let us have fun with physics at school and at home. Learning should never stop!


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