Monday, June 24, 2013

Physics: Swazi Style

In Physics class today, we were talking about gravitational fields. For those of you who aren't into physics, the main idea is that every object has a gravitational field, and objects within that field are attracted to it, at least a little bit.

Let me paraphrase the lesson. Now, you have to hear this in the strong Ugandan accent of our wonderful physics teacher:

"Now, if there is a very massive particle, he is like the very powerful chief. A very powerful chief has much influence for the people in his chiefdom. But! If you are what? Far away! Then, you may choose to roam further away from the chief, and then you may choose to do what? Insult him! You may even dare to insult him, without fear of getting forced to go back to the chief to be punished! If you are outside your chief's gravitational field, then you may hurl insult after insult without fear of being hit! Remember though, the king will have a very big gravitational field, so if you want to hurl your insults at the king without being hit, you will have to go where? Far away!"

I mean, I guess the complicated graphics and computer simulations worked for physics classes in America, but here, we operate solely with paper, pencils, a board, and some metaphors about the local chiefs and king. I guess these are the benefits of learning physics in the last absolutely monarchy in the world...

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog through Peace Corps volunteers you met in Mozambique. We lived in Maputo for two years and got to Swazi every now and then and fell in love with the country. I am SO lovin' this example of Swazi physics!! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!