I just realized that I really miss science. Before I fell in love with teaching, I and many of my friends were sure I would end up in some field of science, like medicine or biochemical research or something. Science has always held a special fascination for me.
This semester I had to go back and take a core science class that I'd missed earlier. As the students to my right and left scribble notes about cellular functions, protein synthesis, and genetic mutations, I sit spellbound -- if not agape, then muttering "Incredible! O G-d, You are unbelievable!" I ponder the intricacies of the world's structures, so elegantly producing innumerable outcomes, and realize that no matter how much explaining you do, the bottom line is always a miracle.
That is what I miss about science.
I'm not sorry I put science aside to go into teaching. First of all, teaching allows me opportunities to transmit my passion to students while keeping up my own learning. Secondly, I don't think I have the patience for science. The more you discover, the more you realize how much is still unexplained. But still, it's nice to keep an eye on it.
I was so excited to find this video of R' Avigdor Miller's classic shmeuss about appreciating nature. Ever since becoming familiar with his works, I have always regretted not knowing about this gadol in his lifetime. Being able to see his face and hear his voice is a gift.
This lesson is particularly timely as Chanukah approaches. One of the key lessons of Chanukah is appreciating the "small" miracles of everyday life. The great miracles open our eyes to G-d's prescence, and then we can begin to see it in everything. This is one reason why we celebrate for eight days. The menorah had enough oil for the first day, so one could argue that the miracle began on the second day and we should only be celebrating seven days of Chanukah. However, the realization that HaShem is the one keeping the menorah burning makes us recognize that even the natural burning of oil is a miracle designed by HaShem and performed on a regular basis.
So as Chanukah nears and finals approach, take a deep breath and catch a miracle in action!