Hey Bill Nye! Why Do I Have to Go to School?
Bill Nye the Science Guy says we all go through a phase of disliking school. But that's because adolescence is a tough time in life for everyone. Thankfully, that phase is only temporary.
Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life.
In Seattle Nye began to combine his love of science with his flair for comedy, when he won the Steve Martin look-alike contest and developed dual careers as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Nye then quit his day engineering day job and made the transition to a night job as a comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central, originating at KING-TV, Seattle’s NBC affiliate.
While working on the Science Guy show, Nye won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. The show won 18 Emmys in five years. In between creating the shows, he wrote five children’s books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.”
Nye is the host of three currently-running television series. “The 100 Greatest Discoveries” airs on the Science Channel. “The Eyes of Nye” airs on PBS stations across the country.
Bill’s latest project is hosting a show on Planet Green called “Stuff Happens.” It’s about environmentally responsible choices that consumers can make as they go about their day and their shopping. Also, you’ll see Nye in his good-natured rivalry with his neighbor Ed Begley. They compete to see who can save the most energy and produce the smallest carbon footprint. Nye has 4,000 watts of solar power and a solar-boosted hot water system. There’s also the low water use garden and underground watering system. It’s fun for him; he’s an engineer with an energy conservation hobby.
Nye is currently the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest organization.
Aaron: My name is Aaron. I want to know why I have to come to school because I hate school.
Bill Nye: Aaron, many of us go through a phase of hating school. And generally you'll hate school because I'm looking at you, you're living at a time where you feel like you don't fit in and this time will pass. I know everybody tells you that but it's true. And it's also possible that you have a teacher that you're not crazy about. And so you'll get through this. Now if it's algebra, I'm looking at you estimating how old you are. The thing about math and algebra, trigonometry is you have to practice. There's just no way around it. You have to do it over and over. And you might be picking school just to be rebellious. We all go through a rebellious phase. But I guarantee you if you learn algebra you'll be able to think abstractly, not just about numbers but about all sorts of things and this will benefit you greatly in life.
It looks like you're sitting in a lab. It looks like you're sitting in a laboratory setting there. It looks like a biology class. There's nothing cooler than biology. In biology you have to memorize things because biologists, by long tradition, just make up words. They're crazy for making up words. Who doesn't love reverse transcriptase? Who doesn't love a Golgi body and so on? There's some memorization involved. Endoreticulum. I'm sorry man you just got to memorize some words, but it's worth it and you will fit in better as the years go on. Carry on man.
Bill Nye the Science Guy says we all go through a phase of disliking school. But that's because adolescence is a tough time in life for everyone. Thankfully, that phase is only temporary. In the meantime, it can be helpful to look at school not as a place you're forced to go (though of course you are — it's called tough love), but as cage you can escape through sheer repetition.
The only way to learn subjects like algebra and geometry is through doing repetitive tasks: completing equations, solving for 'x', memorizing the bizarre words that biologists make up — Golgi body, reverse transcriptase, etc. But learning these concepts will empower you to think abstractly. It's a skill that will improve your existence for the rest of your life.
Bill Nye's most recent book is Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World.
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