My grandfather told me that his dad, who I never met, learned to use a typewriter when he got a job as a clerk in the post office. He said great-grandfather saved his money to buy a used typewriter for home use. It was a big deal to him. I have that typewriter on my desk in my room. It was given to my father and now to me. It is in perfect working condition, and I actually use it very often. I get tired of the digital world at times. My JC physics tuition I am taking to help me brush up on the vast amount of knowledge that encompasses the field of physics is helping me to see the difference between the digital and the analog. I am writing this using my laptop, which is digital, but I could write it on my typewriter, which is analog, too.

I was struggling in learning physics. Then the world of particle physics, or quantum dynamics, just opened up to me when the JC physics tuition teacher explained things that just clicked in my brain. It was like the shutters on a window being opened so that I could see what was beyond the glass. I went from getting mediocre grades in physics and barely understanding what I was being taught to having a rich depth of understanding that helps me build on a solid foundation of knowledge I can now understand.

That typewriter is obsolete only in that we use different tools now to accomplish the same thing. Digital archiving of documents is easier than the filing systems of paper used in my great-grandfather’s time. However, in order for me to really understand how to pursue the future, I need to know the building blocks of the past. Comparing that typewriter and its technology with my computer gives me insight. That is what physics is like. You need to know the basics to be able to build on it.

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