Each teacher in the school where I work is assigned a group of students to counsel. I find it kind of artificial, as I am more likely to counsel whoever needs my counsel anyway. I just always figured that was part of the job. In fact I will counsel kids who don’t ask for counsel if I think they need it. That too is just what any caring adult would do if they saw a young person struggling and thought they could help.
But this particular crop of students is in my ‘mentor group’ and we are getting near the end of the school year and I thought I would treat them to a movie and help them to try and relax before we head into exams for the next two weeks. 2012 just hit the theatres here and most of my students hadn’t seen it yet, so I took them out as a treat.
I’m sure many of you have seen it by now, so I won’t provide a review. You already know that despite an attempt to place this picture in the future, it is essentially the story of Noah and the Arc retold with high tech gadgets. You just can’t get away from the fact that some of the greatest stories on the planet are in the Bible. The science starts out on a fairly solid footing. Yes, there is a neutrino collection facility in Sudbury, Ontario and one planned for Tamil Nadu in India. Yes, the sun does erupt in solar flares and that activity will hit the peak of its eleven year cycle in 2012, but from there on out the science gets increasingly dodgy. By the time the tsunamis have flooded all of India and are cresting over the seven kilometer high Himalayas you are ready to give up. Even the most die hard literalists of Biblical interpretation are willing to concede that the Himalayas must have risen as a result of whatever cataclysm struck the world in Noah’s day, as there is not enough water on the planet to cover it to that depth.
But I’m nit-picking. Nobody goes to a show like that looking for good science, you go looking for special effects, and there are some dandies. My particular favourite was watching California slide ever so gently into the Pacific Plate, although I must admit that watching the Yellowstone caldera erupt was a close second. It was good entertainment and very pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow it is back to work for another two weeks, and then a well earned holiday before the new semester. I wish all of my students good luck as they write their final exams.