Jules Verne – My best teacher

Mural commemorating Jules Verne's book From th...

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Good teachers are rare. They’re in charge of shaping young minds. They provide inspiration to students.

The best teachers I ever had, was born today on Feb. 8, more than 180 years ago. His name was Jules Verne.

Reading his novels when I was a kid inspired my curiosities in the natural world. That curiosity led to a degree in science. 

If it wasn’t for Jules Verne, I wouldn’t have taken a voyage below the ocean in “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea”, a geological field tip in “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” or a spaceflight in “From the Earth to the Moon.”

From his works, I gained an appreciation of the natural world, and an interest in the universe. I was inspired by the Baltimore Gun Club in “From the Earth to the Moon” while they worked on detailed plans to reach the moon.

These plans were based upon astronomical and physical data. I thought this was fascinating, and so I started reading about space, physics and mathematics.

Jules Verne not only inspired me, but probably helped to inspire the United States in the 60s to send a rocket to the moon. So he is one of the best teachers I know. 

On the other hand, the worst teacher I ever had, and I had more than my fair share, was a structural geology professor in university. He was rude, arrogant and would literally run away after class so students couldn’t ask questions.

This man didn’t offer any inspiration at all. Getting through his course was extremely painful, but I made it and passed. 

So I’m celebrating Jules Verne’s birthday with a great deal of thanks. He is the best teacher I ever had.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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