My teenager came downstairs wearing a new t-shirt last night. Black, because badasses wear black, and on the front it read “AP PHYSICS.” Because badasses take physics. AP stands for advanced placement; it’s a college level physics class. I hadn’t seen the shirt before, and asked him about it.
“Oh, this? I got it from Tuttle.” Charles Tuttle is Jake’s physics teacher, who my son thinks is the coolest man on the planet. Tuttle knows stuff. He knoows. Jake tried to look nonchalant, but nonchalance is hard to master when you’re wearing a new badass physics t-shirt, and no one has yet noticed the back.
“But look at the BACK!!”
On the back was this physics problem:
“Wait,” I said, ” Owned?”
“Yeah! Did you read it!? Owwnnneed!” He draws out this word, his voice dropping an octave. “He’s owwnned.”
“But…wait. Why is he owned? Is that the answer?”
“Mom. Did you read the problem? If Jocko is 60 kilograms, and the ball is that heavy and going 100 miles per second……Mom! He’s owwwwnnned. ” Jake is cracking up as he explains his t-shirt.
“And the blood…?”
“It’s hysterical Mom! Because there is no answer! See? If you do the math…..20 kilograms at 100 miles per second! It’s sooo funny!”
“So the blood…..”
“Yeah! It would rip Jocko in HALF! He’d be dead! See? If you do the Math….?”
But I can’t do the math. I struggled with Algebra 2, and Calculus is beyond me. My son is poised to academically surpass both his parents. We’re smart people. We both did well in high school and went to Penn State University, which was not easy to get into. But this boy? He’s worked. He’s screwed up at times, and then blown me away with how graciously he’s taken his lumps, applied himself, and carried on. He’s overcome ADHD through hard work and hard exercise, and I could not be more proud or more happy for him as the future unfolds in front of him; a future for which he’s begun to lay a solid groundwork. I admire him so much. And now math and physics jokes are funny.
“So, honey. They gave you this t-shirt when they made you King Of The Nerds?”
“Mom. We all got one. The whole class.”
“So Mr. Tuttle has outfitted a Nerd Army? And now are you going to take over the world with your nerdness?”
“Mom. Tuttle is cool.”
And he’s right. Tuttle certainly does seem to know stuff.