All Life Is an Experiment

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Meditations in Motion
By User: Scewingderivative work: 2009 – Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_ca1857.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11868430

 

As a former science teacher, how could I not love this Emerson quote? When I taught chemistry, my favorite days in the classroom were days we did experiments, so we did a lot of them.

I never really cared if my students memorized the Ideal Gas Law Equation (PV = nRT) or knew the elements of the periodic table by heart. I wanted them to understand that we learn through experimentation and to know what it takes to make a good experiment.

Meditations in Motion

A good experiment is not necessarily one in which your original hypothesis is confirmed. Some of the most valuable experiments are ones in which we are surprised by the outcome. In science, as in life, we must be prepared for unexpected events.

A good experiment is also not one in which there are no errors. We are human, we will err. It is good to have confidence enough to examine your method of problem-solving for ways to improve for the next time. And there usually is a next time.

Finally, a good experiment is one that is challenging, yet enjoyable, because that is a good attitude to have toward life: seek out challenges and have a good time. I wanted my students to learn to be problem solvers, both in the chemistry classroom and in life. Experimentation is a valuable tool to accomplish those goals.

“See, I am doing a new thing!ย Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” – Isaiah 43:19

 

I am linking with Welcome Heart for Letโ€™s Have Coffee, Soaring with Him for Recharge Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, Rachel Marie Lee, Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, and Worth Beyond Rubies.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

1LinerWed

 

 

 

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66 comments

  1. I was always a theater nerd, but one of my favorite and most inspiring high school teachers was my biology teacher in my junior year. She, like all good science teachers, ignited a sense of wonder framed by intellectual rigor. I even like dissecting the frogs and giant earthworms ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sense of wonder combined with intellectual rigor was always what I was aiming for as a teacher too! The dissecting was what convinced me to major in chemistry, rather than biology, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  2. I really like that saying (as someone who doesn’t really do motivational sayings that’s quite something). Thinking this way about life puts less pressure on people to get things right, or be perfect.
    #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

    • That Ralph Waldo had some great quotes! We all need some space t try new things without the possibility of disaster if we don’t get it right the first time!

      Like

  3. Laurie, I didn’t realize you were a science teacher. As a student who feared doing the experiment incorrectly, I can still say, I always enjoyed the experiment. It is so true, the lessons stick, and are more meaningful, when we are hands on in life. I am also grateful He goes with me into every new “experiment” – also known as experiences. Have a great Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Joanne. He does go with us for every new experiment. I think we all need some space to try new things without getting it perfect right off the bat! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. I loved Honors Chemistry my junior year but was destroyed by AP Chemistry my senior year. Had our teacher not curved our tests I think we all would’ve failed. I did well with the problems, but struggled with labs. I always felt like there were “common sense directions” missing from them; I’m very much a tell me every step type when it comes to following recipes, etc. so it never failed that I would tend to miss a step in a lab if it wasn’t spelled out for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I taught Honors Chemistry, but never AP. In fact, our school did not have AP Chem until after I retired. I never wanted to teach it – I felt like it was too rigid and took some of the fun out of the class.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love learning new things, so I love experiments too. And sometimes I love reading about other people’s experiments before I try them myself! ha. I wonder what experiments I can try today. Thanks, Laurie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I saw the title of this post in a linkup gathering, I KNEW it was yours, and couldn’t wait to read it. We’re in the throes of homeschool chemistry here, and, honestly, the experiments hardly ever turn out as neatly as the text book says they will, but there’s so much good that we learn from paying attention and then writing down what we see.
    Chemistry is good for writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michele, you are a good mom and teacher to slog through chemistry with your son! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s one of the wonderful/frustrating things about chemistry – the experiments hardly ever turn out perfectly. Error exists in every lab. It IS good for writers. I never thought about it in that way!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. that was one of the hardest lessons I had to teach my students. The important thing was that they learned something – it didn’t matter whether the lab turned out as they thought it should!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent! So many are afraid of failing, they do not even try. But failing is how we learn. Although I would just call it learning and skip the idea that if something doesnโ€™t turn out right the first time itโ€™s a failure. Iโ€™d like to abolish that word.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Trying things in life, and learning on your own, is the best way, I think! Many times I make a safe decision only afraid of failure. I agree with Michelle’s comment that we need to abolish that word! Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, how many times have I tried to play it safe, only to find that my “safe” choice wasn’t really safe after all? Thank you for the chance to share, Michelle!

      Like

  9. I like that quote! It goes well with my motto of growing and learning about oneself as we live through our experiences. It’s not supposed to be all figured out by a certain age or deadline. Life is about learning as we go. Love the quote. #abitofeverthing

    Liked by 1 person

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