March 17, 2006

Bobbing deadheads

Today in class I was talking about how molecules absorb light. I made an analogy to a deadhead in a lake. One end of the log is heavy and one end is light. The log stands upright, and when waves come by the deadhead starts to bob up and down, first a little and with time, more and more. Molecules can act the same way-- when a light wave goes by it causes the electrons to bob up and down. The point though that can cause some confusion is that the energy states of the molecule are quantized while those of the log are not.

When I introduced this analogy I said that this deadhead had nothing to do with Jerry Garcia. The students just looked at me. I saw that I needed to explain that a deadhead was someone who followed The Grateful Dead around. Blank stares. You know, The Grateful Dead!? I asked. Only two students out of a class of 50 knew who they were. Am I getting old or am I just teaching on the wrong continent?


At March 18, 2006 12:06 AM , Blogger Annie said...

I think you're starting to experience what I've been feeling for the past few years - you are getting older. I was out to lunch with some staff members the other day and mentioned Bob Dylan. Jeremy said 'what has he done that I might have heard?' I was shocked! Other recent observations: Those in their 30s tend to think that the 80s was the best decade for music. They laugh about the big hair they used to have. Those in their 20s don't have the same hang ups that my generation has about calling themselves a 'Christian' and talking about church and God. We worry about offending people. They don't see religion as an offensive topic. Spirituality is blended (as it should be) with life, health, family, work, etc.

At March 19, 2006 3:56 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

As far as getting older goes, who would have ever thought it would happen to me?

But even more than that. Growing up in the 80s, you could not escape the music of the 60s and 70s. It was everywhere-- FM, TV, newspapers. Me and my buddies in Generation X had to go out of our way to find our own music amid the echos of the boomers. So I expect that young folks today will know what came before them, like I can trace the roots of my own musical heritage.

At March 19, 2006 3:58 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

(And what rock has Jeremy been living under!?)

At March 21, 2006 12:26 AM , Blogger Annie said...

Same rock as your students, I suppose...


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