Mr. Nolan’s Earth Science

Imagine being a na├»ve ninth grader. It’s your first day of school and you’re sitting in your first ever Earth Science class. If your teacher was Mr. Nolan, he would come into the class and wait until the classroom becomes very quiet. Then his voice booms out, “Trees make the wind blow”! He’d scan the room assessing the impact of his proclamation and probably see a lot of dumbfounded expressions, too.

I remember sitting in his class trying to picture the trees in my mind to see which came first the wind or trees moving. He then asked for a raise of hands of those who agree with him. Slowly hands would go up. I think I was one of those who did not raise my hand. I was pretty sure it was the other way around. The wind blew the trees.

Mr. Nolan then would call on a student who hadn’t raised their hand and asks why they disagreed. Once satsfied he’d then call on a student who had raised their hand and asks why they agreed.

He then reveals that, no, trees do not make the wind blow and the first lesson of ninth grade Earth Science would begin.

This is how Mr. Nolan began every class of ninth grade Earth Science. The year would progress with tales of his beloved “rugrats” (even before the show was conceived). Thank you Mr. Nolan for your humor and finesse. For making an otherwise dry subject come to life for so many.

Remembering you and praying for peace in your eternal rest. Godspeed.