Each month, The Sun magazine offers fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and photos in a black-and-white format without advertising. Each issue includes provocative ideas from people of science, religion, philosophy, the arts, or a combination. Each issue also includes Readers Write, a feature compiling nonfiction submissions from the magazine’s readers on an intentionally broad topic. Occasionally I submit pieces for consideration. More often, I write essays on the topics too late to submit them.
This piece should have been submitted by January 1, 2016, for consideration for the July 2016 issue.
This year marks 50 years since I graduated from high school. One of the buildings that housed the high school back then no longer exists. A grocery store fills that block now. The primary building still exists (see below), but serves a completely different function.
I loved my classes, except for one. Physics. Now I’m not saying I didn’t like physics. I didn’t like my physics class. I never got the chance to discover whether I liked physics.
And that’s because the teacher ignored all the girls. He assigned the boys to seats in the rows closest the window and the girls to seats on the opposite side of the room. And then he talked only to the boys. He didn’t even make it convenient for the girls to daydream by looking out the windows.
If one of the girls raised a hand and asked a question, he’d tell us we didn’t need to know the answer. If we pressed him by asking if there would be a question on a future test, he’d tell us that didn’t matter. We were only going to look for a boy to marry anyway.
The boys loved the guy. Maybe they even learned some physics.
I don’t think any of the girls ever complained to anyone other than one another. We were used to things not being fair by then.
I’m going to my class’s 50th reunion. Maybe I should test out just how much physics those boys learned. Any ideas how I could do that?