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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THINK LIKE A PHYSICIST: Ms. Setliff's 2013 Principal's Promotion Address


Once upon a time, a man lived with his wife and child in a modest apartment in Bern, Switzerland.  He worked as a 3rd class clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.  During the day, he travailed performing mundane and menial tasks. 

But at night, his head was wrapped around the universe.  In one year, he wrote 4 papers that laid the foundation for quantum mechanics, defined special relativity, and furthered Newton’s analysis of light.  The year, 1905, was termed by the scientific community as the annus mirabilis, “the year of wonder.”

This 3rd class clerk was none other than Albert Einstein.  I tell you this story because it illustrates what our learning community here at Esperero Canyon is striving to achieve:  excellence. Excellence is the pursuit of continued improvement in fulfilling one’s own potential. 

Albert Einstein was one person,  working in a very unpromising clerical job.  He had no lab, no formal resources, and very few connections.  What he did have was belief in his own abilities.  His passion for science drove him to pursue continual self-improvement in order to fulfill his potential. 

So what can we learn from Albert Einstein about excellence?  How can we construct our own annus mirabilis?   Those of you who know me have been exposed to my love of list-making; it’s my nod to logos.  

I have been reading about Einstein lately and I have derived the following list:

Albert E.’s 5 Hints on How to Strive for Excellence

 1.  "Adversity reveals genius. " When trouble comes your way, hang on tight and let it move you forward.

2.  “Imagination is more important than knowledge and is the true sign of intelligence”…. Dare to imagine!

3.   “Never stop asking questions . . .but learn to ask the right ones.”

4.  “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science."  Embrace the mysteries of life.

5.  “Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” 
  Ask yourself if what you are counting is truly important. 

Tonight, as you walk across this stage, try to think like a physicist and know that you are walking into in the universe.  Be assured that the amount of love in this room for each and every one of you is immeasurable by any scientific standards.   Einstein said “Gravitation is not responsible for love.”  Yet, such love is past, present and future . . .  but most of all, it is wondrous.

Source for quotes:  http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/EinsteinQuotes.html