Crystal Ball: No Teacher Unions But Lucid Dreams
    By Enrico Uva | October 1st 2012 01:00 AM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Enrico

    I majored in chemistry, worked briefly in the food industry and at Fisheries and Oceans. I then obtained a degree in education. Since then I have...

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    Here are more revelations from a crystal ball of science. Again, it may be just a peek through a window of science-spiced fantasies.  I'm, of course, also aware that one person's utopia can be another's nightmare, but writing can never be much fun if we are consistently overcautious.

    Fairness will return to science fairs, and students soloing their projects will no longer be competing against those who are mentored by professional researchers. Most books about science-project ideas will be placed in giant blue recycling bins and the imagination of young minds will flow back into the process. Fairs will take place in open air and living material will be allowed again so a kid will be able to take fragments of an ant and a grass blade and place them on the spoke of a web to watch how a spider responds. And precious time will not be wasted on ostentatious display boards to impress incompetent judges.

    There will come a time when women neither retain their maiden names nor take on the surname of their husbands. When a metal reacts with a nonmetal, the suffix of the latter becomes ide, so when Julia Smith marries and bonds to Paul Johnson, their names will become Julia Smithide and Paul Johnsonide, respectively. The unaltered surname will be retained for their children. Since the names of most polyatomic ions do not end in ide, names of polygamous husbands or wives, where law and ethics permit, will adopt the ate suffix. Roman Catholicism will lose its monopoly over the nomenclature of Italian males as parents realize that within the periodic table there lies an ample repertoire of boys' names such as Osmio, Renio, Bromo, Gadolino and Fermio.

    Teacher seniority and the equivalent of clock-punching will no longer take priority over quality work that benefits students. Unions will be replaced by professional associations after requirements to get into teaching will become rigorous. Degrees such as the bachelor of education and bachelor of interior design will disappear. Even elementary teachers will need a real degree in an actual discipline along with above average standing. A one-year certification program, untainted by educational philosophies and by unscientific pedagogical studies, will focus on tricks of the trade and development of the craft. In addition, high school teachers will have to experience at least short stints in an industrial, agricultural or business environment to feel and learn from the world beyond the classroom walls. Isaac Asimov will smile in his grave because teachers will no longer be unionized but unionized because as true professionals they will no longer be charged with excess lunch supervision and other tasks that take time away from the education of children. 

    Lucid dreams will become commonplace. Most people will realize that the more they assume control of their personal lives, the more likely they are to direct their dreams. When terrified by nightmares, they will seek a cold floor or  sidewalk and lie on it to awaken. On better nights, they will invite the sting of a bee on their foreheads to take off with it and fly over parks and rivers. They will dream of sneaking into closed natural history museums, disturbed only by the sounds of music. Patterns and colors of various calcite, amethyst and fluorite minerals will float and morph into other geometrical shapes in synchronicity with every Vivaldian stroke.

    Fruits and vegetables, genetically modified by both traditional techniques and by those of biotechnology, will be part of every meal, and their plants and trees will find themselves on the majority of decks, balconies and back yards. Science will have increased fruit production everywhere on the planet; it will have finally be able to induce symbiotic nitrogen-fixation in more plant families, increasing the protein-content of produce while averting insects. The abundant but relatively inert component of the atmosphere will be at our service, but the conversion will be fueled by photosynthesis, not combustion.   

    Finally, gelato will dominate the cold dessert market globally. Few people will want to settle for ice cream after tasting a product having the delicious smoothness of 1 to10 micron ice crystals with less fat, less air and more delicious fruit genetically selected for its aromatic esters. And not to offset their circadian rhythm, people everywhere will indulge in a pisolino or siesta. But when not asleep and dreaming lucidly, in vast, unprecedented numbers they will live with a strong work ethic and learning bug because the best sleep and sweetest dreams follow genuine fatigue.


    Bromo?  Sounds like a bit of a stinker to me.

    or (Juliet holding her nose):

    “Bromio, Bromio, wherefore art thou Bromio?"

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    “Bromio, Bromio, wherefore art thou Bromio?"
    :) Yes "bromo" is rooted in a Greek word bromos meaning stench, and if Bromo/Bromio was a stinker, maybe it would have spared us a couple of suicides.