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My dad taught me my first science lesson. He knew it did not have to start at school, but rather the minute a mind starts asking questions. That is what science has always consisted of—a curiosity forming into a question and a question being resolved through investigation.
A lone black leathered seat merely attached by two metal chains became the strong foundation of the grand relationship between my dad and I. It was always the swing on the left. I tended to believe it was faster somehow (this was before I knew any physics of course), but besides my obscure knowledge, my dad always accomplished the promise of saving it for me. Not a day failed that right after school I would take on a nice thirty-minute ride with the companionship of the wind and creaking chains into the sky. The best part of all was having the reassurance of my father pushing me forward.
Once the suffice amount of trust was created however, I began to learn that I can propel myself forward. Up…down…up…down. A constant motion. No pauses and no breaks. Almost balanced and perfect, the swing never failed to go too high or too low. Always impressed by its perfection, I had to resolve my question of how is it that my puny four-foot-something self was able to create this constant motion? A query leading to investigation, my most reliable source at its time was my father. A Master of Answers he gladly explained this unfamiliar term called “gravity” alongside with its cousins “velocity” and “speed”. My supposed companion of wind was quickly replaced with an immortal companion (who still seems to follow me today)—gravity. Perhaps too young to understand that at its entirety, I learned that day there was no better satisfaction than having an answer. My goal was to become the apprentice of this Master of Answers.
From that day on I always came to my Master of Answers with a new question. From the most generic of “Why is the sky blue?” to questions of “What makes you my father?”, I was always promised an answer, preferably scientific and supported with logic. Sometimes, the questions were more personal such as “What makes a happy life, dad?” to painful questions such as “Why can’t my grandfather remember me anymore?” Despite its severity or its comicalness, he gave me an answer, never sugar-coated but true.
As my knowledge continued to expand from a large mixture of school, books, the internet, and experiences, the spark would have never begun without my early learning of gravity. Questions began to lead to discussions. Discussions of politics, theories, religion, and my favorite—of science. I compromised myself to always provide a new piece of information to my dad just like he provided for me. Any new discovery was now not only questioned but discussed. Discussion became our favorite past-time.
Now that I am more aware and conscious, I’ve learned that this master-apprentice relationship would have never been accomplished without sacrifice. Leaving work thirty minutes earlier to provide me my thirty-minute ride into the sky, my dad would always place an effort to provide us with some together time. Coming as a foreigner into an unknown country, he did this to assure I’d always receive the upmost quality of answers. Although it can be said no answer is set in stone, I do know for a fact that the willingness of sacrifice carries no stronger power, thanks to my Master of Answers.
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