Saturday, September 18, 2010

Messing with student's heads, part # 875645.6 "You have been lied to all your life......"


In the course of our daily insanity yesterday, I had a few students charging vehicle batteries. One asked where I wanted them set up, and I told him "Right there in front of the car will be fine. No point in carrying a heavy battery farther than we need to".

He responded "On the concrete floor? You can't charge batteries on a concrete floor!".

I replied "You can if I tell you too. Your assignment now is to research that notion and come back to me with a reason not to charge batteries on a concrete floor".

To which he said "Ohhh Man... everything is HARD around here".

My final remark: "My job is to make your brain sweat, and I am good at it".

It seems word of this spread through the class. Another young man asked me about it later, and seemed convinced that one cannot charge batteries while they are resting on concrete. I asked him why not, and he had no answer. I asked where he had heard this idea from, and he said "Lot's of people".

I (somewhat) patiently explained that there is no logical reason why a vehicle battery cannot be charged while it's resting a concrete floor any more than a wood floor, or a sheet of steel for that matter. I went on to explain that all those people who had told him that were wrong, and had lied to him. Maybe they lied because they were just too lazy to think about what they were saying, but still they lied.

I told him people have lied to him all his life.... usually for the same reason.... they were too lazy or too pigheaded to think about the words coming out of their mouths, and it was never, ever going to stop. I told him it was HIS job to filter out the BS attacking his ears, and do the thinking for himself.

I told him not to trust even what *I* say to him..... think about everything he sees, hears, or reads.

Now it's up to him.


Anonymous said...

You savage! Expecting teenagers to think for themselves??!! You are such a... TEACHER!

Rey B
(with tongue firmly in cheek) Applauding over here boss.

Crucis said...

A lesson many, maybe 50% of our country never learned.

Everett said...

My dad used to tell me that also. Then one day I asked him how come the one sitting on the cement floor by the generator never got drained? End of that myth

James R. Rummel said...

I've never heard this myth, probably because I never had anyone tell me how to charge a car battery. I just read the directions that came with the charger, and went to town.

So what is supposed to happen if you charge a battery on concrete, anyway?

Carteach0 said...


A car battery placed on concrete is supposed to discharge, for some reason. Charging the battery while it's on concrete is supposed to prevent it from charging. Both notions are left from the dark ages, when car batteries had rubber cases (30's and 40's).

Jeff Gauch said...

I remember reading about this a while back. The old rubber casings weren't as water-tight as modern ones. When you charge a battery the pH goes down. In the old casings the acid would leach through the casing and etch the concrete. It wasn't so much you couldn't charge a battery on concrete, you just didn't want to.

Ted Amadeus said...

You sir, are a diamond among the cinders!

Anonymous said...

I think that certain myths, such as Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, etc. serve the same purpose of getting children to start thinking for themselves, or perhaps just being pretty reliable indicators of when thinking is starting to happen.

I believed in Santa Clause for a long time, because he came to our house once. He knew my name and everything.

Devious adults! They should be ashamed.