Thursday, November 8, 2007

why i dropped physics

this was one of the questions in that fateful physics exam:

Draw the forces acting on the person sitting on a chair of a merry go round.

i was mortified. where on earth was the person? all i saw in the diagram was an airplane. i started to get panicky (in view of how i couldn't do every other question & this was the only one of the few questions that i understood). my palms were getting sweaty when a revelation hit me. arh.. but of course! the airplane that is stuck by a rod to the pivot has to be there in order to act as a driving force so the merry go round can rotate when it flies!

excited, i set about to draw in my own person in a chair at the other end. i even bothered factoring in direction and the fact that the person should be drawn in his/her back view for a less nauseating ride.

Pleased with my human, i drew in the forces happily.

That was the last physics exam i ever took.

before laughing at my stupidity, do realise that the diagram does look like the frontview of an airplane. see the following cartoon (courtesy of istock photo). now visualise the front view of the plane. see wad i mean?
unfortunately my teacher didn't. i took my paper to him and pointed out that i should be getting some credit (ok, half a mark, at least) for theoretically knowing how to draw in W correctly and for knowing how to draw a person in a chair. he dismissed me with a scornful laugh.

(my mom actually walked in on me when i was writing this, pointed to the first diagram, and asked: is that a tortoise? really, i think there was actually no need to have conducted so much research- this is proof enough that genes are hereditary. apparently i was the only student in the cohort who saw the person as a plane did not draw the arrows on the correct object.)

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