This is a very typical conversation with my wife that happened this very morning…
Jane: Everybody knows that energy in the universe is constant. Energy can be transformed, but it cannot be created or destroyed. Doesn’t he even know that?
Hock: I don’t know that.
Jane: Everybody learns that in the first grade! Didn’t you learn that in the first grade?
Hock: The only thing I learned in the first grade was that Aquaman would die if he was out of the water for over an hour.
Well now, I am not quite that stupid. My sarcastic, “side-bar” point being that all of my real learning in science almost always occurred from “off-school-premise” reading science fiction books, comics and going to movies. You can keep all your “Dick, Jane and See-Spot-Run” or Little Golden Books. BORING! I was reading about wild conquests in outer space or the next sinister crime spree of the Joker. My morality comes from asking that important universal question – “What would Batman do? Or maybe Captain America?”
But this commentary also speaks to the power of fiction and storytelling. Through the emotional story, many lessons can be learned. My youthful teenage grasp of American history for example, really came from a smattering of presidential biographies I’d read. I was better able to organize events through the personal tales and trials of these men than through the dry textbook approach in class.
Once again, this demonstrates the the real powers of…the story.