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I haven't got a physics teacher

  1. Jun 21, 2008 #1
    This may seem weird but weird's my middle name.

    I'm 14 and I sort of crave knowledge. I like to know how things work, why they happen etc but now my schools just getting, I think the suitable word would be rubbish. All the science teachers are leaving for better paid jobs so we're getting stuck with cover teachers. I wouldn't mind about the chemistry and biology teachers leaving but my physics teacher left too so now I haven't got a physics teacher to ask my questions too. (My previous teacher couldn't answer most of my questions anyway)

    So I'm taking things into my own hands. Except I don't just want to know the curriculum stuff I want to know as much as I can fit into my head :P

    Only thing is, I don't know where to start.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2008 #2


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    Hi MrPickles!

    You've found PF -- that's a good place to start.

    Weird is good, btw, but you already knew that :wink: .
  4. Jun 21, 2008 #3
    You don't understand how awesome of a position you are in. With so many online resources such as Wikipedia and various torrent sites to provide you with textbooks, the possibilities are infinite. Get your hands on a textbook of whatever subject matter you're into. Learn as much as you can! If I got into science a couple of years younger (I'm 18, got into science pretty hardcore around 16) I would've been doing some pretty far out crap. Don't be afraid to teach yourself science and don't be afraid to be bad at something; without recognition that you are bad at something, you cannot improve. It's hard to start out, but when you do finally get into the swing of things, you'll enjoy yourself quite well.

    Also, another thing you could try later on is to get in contact with a professor at a local college which is doing research you're interested in. I'm sure if you present yourself as mature, humble, and ready to work, they would be happy to have you, depending on the college of course. I spent my days last summer at a lab and I learned a lot about electron microscopy. This could help you out a ton.

    My main advice is, find what you like the most out of all the sciences. Good luck and have fun!
  5. Jun 21, 2008 #4
    That's the trouble, I can't find what I like the most because it all interests me D:
  6. Jun 21, 2008 #5


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    Stay away from places like Wikipedia for information, it is not to be trusted. It's ok as a starting point only.
  7. Jun 21, 2008 #6
    Torrent sites provide textbooks? Is this a legal offering from them? Or is it "under the blanket piracy"?
  8. Jun 21, 2008 #7
    I also had a strong carving for knowledge when I was 14. I would spend 20% of time on things that I was required to know for my school and 80% of time learning things that were above my curriculum. I never understood why my sister always gets higher marks when she spends far less time studying. I always hated school; they don't teach anything challenging/interesting/tough. So, I think that's why I was never interested in hs people/teachers/curriculum.

    Now I am about 19.

    The one thing I learned is always try to keep things simple :smile:
    I spend 100% of time on the things that I am required to know (I am also overwhelmed by knowledge)

    I am doing better than my sister now
  9. Jun 21, 2008 #8
    I learnt to keep things simple from programming. I always use to dive in at the deep end and get annoyed when I couldn't get it to work. I still tend to do that.
  10. Jun 21, 2008 #9
    I used to be seriously into studying by myself in the beginning of senior year. I had a 97 average. I learned about 1/2 Organic 1 and taught myself about a Semester of Biology and some bits of Gen Chem. Then I focused completely on my schoolwork, got a 98 average, and learned jack.

    Do what you feel is right depending on your situation. If your high school doesn't feel challenging, chances are you have plenty of time for science on your own. Learn what you have to and move onto different things if you can.

    As for finding things you like, what kind of person are you? Are you a theorist or an observer? Biology/Chemistry are more geared for the observer IMO. Also do you like microscopes? Behavior studies? etc
  11. Jun 21, 2008 #10
    Play a sport. There is always plenty to learn from playing football.
  12. Jun 21, 2008 #11
    Good job man. I'm of your same age and aptitude. I got into BEAM robotics fairly recently, try out music, building stuff, whatever, its all good.

    DrClapeyron, I'm sorry, but I gotta say, I think you've infiltrated PF for purposes of changing us nerdfolk to jocks. Well it ain't gonna happen.
  13. Jun 21, 2008 #12
    I like DrClapeyron's suggestion, and I don't think s/he is trying to turn anyone into a jock. The point being that it is a good idea to be well-rounded. You don't have to be a jock, but you should get out and have some fun doing something "athletic" and competitive once in a while.
  14. Jun 21, 2008 #13


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    Hmmm...I've never thought of that before. I think you're right about that.

    Very astute observation, kingdomof!
  15. Jun 22, 2008 #14
    I think I'm a theorist, I tend to get a question in my head then it sort of creates a strain of thoughts.

    As for Biology, Chemistry or Physics, Physics interests me more than the other sciences.
  16. Jun 22, 2008 #15
    Well, all scientists start with theory. It's what you want to do with that theory that would define what you're interested in, IMO. If you want to test out the mathematical soundness of an equation, you're a theorist. If you want to get some mice and observe their behavior and see what happens to them chemically, you're an observer. I dig experimenting more and waiting to see results, but that's a ton of time and plenty of things go wrong.

    There's plenty of overlap in science, though, keep that in mind. You have inorganic chemists and physicists working in Biology, nowadays. Science, from what I gather, has changed a lot over the past 50 years and there has been more collaboration between all of the branches. A ton of things in science are relatively young and many innovations just came about relatively recently, such as electron microscopes, PCR, etc.

    Have fun and don't confine yourself to a single interest. I mix things up and learn a bit of Physics, as it is always good to know things in different perspectives. I also read a decent amount of literature and philosophy. Being well rounded works wonders, as it's terribly hard to pull off, but the benefit is worth it.
  17. Jun 22, 2008 #16
    Do you like maths?
  18. Jun 22, 2008 #17
    Sorry for not responding earlier.

    Torrent sites are a great resource for anything under the sun. It isn't legal, but I'll be blunt; nobody cares. There are no government agencies, at least I would hope, trying to prevent people from getting a free education or teaching themselves. It's kinda a taboo thing to restrict.
  19. Jun 22, 2008 #18
    You should be careful with the PF guidelines here...
  20. Jun 22, 2008 #19
    I didn't drop any names, so I think I'm fine.
  21. Jun 22, 2008 #20
    Eh, I care. At least enough not to do anything unethical. The authors care, especially after all the work they put into it.

    So. I guess I'll not get into torrents.

    *glances up at free resources listed here*
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