There is nothing like the certainty of a maths equation, or the satisfying reaction of two chemicals. Even biological theories are consistent, with the selection of the fittest creating a more predictable discipline. As we discover more about the physics of the universe we learn that it to has a set of rules that need to be obeyed. This is why I like the Sciences, as soon as you learn the framework it is pretty easy to understand.
The Humanities don’t have this simplicity, the Wikipedia article on “English Grammar” is 35% longer than that of “Physics”. This is because we know how gravity works but we still can’t nail down “i before e”. Humanities put the subject into subjective.
As Mrs G is an English teacher I am seeing first hand the difficulty of this area of learning. Whereas a Math teacher can tell straight away whether you are right or wrong, an English teacher has to read paragraphs of writing and then make an assessment about the merits of your work. This can vary by teacher, and also by what day and time they are doing the marking. I would love to analyse the grades of those marked at 11pm on a Sunday night and compare them to 9am on a Wednesday.
Exothermic reactions are simple to understand but I have no clue about adverbs, determiners or relative clauses. I am of the modern breed that relies on red and blue squiggly lines to tell me where I am going wrong. I still have arguments with Word about my usage of ‘which’ or ‘that’.
I see this inconsistency when I hear about how English lessons are monitored. One Inspector thinks teachers spend too much time on spelling while the next is a stickler. How can students learn a variable subject from teachers who are given variable guidelines?
Still the joy of the humanities is that freedom of expression. It may be good that science is black and white but it has no real room to be yourself. That’s why even though I was frustrated by the subjectiveness it gave me a chance to branch out and be more than just facts and figures.
That is why I write more about the humanity in my life than the science. If Biology and Chemistry explain why I am alive it is the English and History that make me alive.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”
Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!