I have always been a math-science oriented person, and until my sophomore year of high school, my primary interest was in biological sciences. However, as a student in the Pre-International Baccalaureate Program, I was required to enroll in the PIB physics I class. Walking into the physics lab, I saw an energetic, eccentric woman in a room covered with posters of the periodic table and Alberta Einstein alongside those of Elvis Presley. I would never view physics in the same light again.
Ms. Kinney showed me the physics in everything from toys to poetry. We discussed Walt Whitman’s “When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer” and Robert Frost’s “Birches” along with Newton’s Laws and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. She had an amazing ability to teach the most complicated concepts in physics without letting us lose sight of the simple wonder of it all. She made physics come alive for me. Ms. Kinney’s class was one of the most rigorous and demanding courses that I have faced, but she gave me so much more than she asked of me.
She taught me to love learning and physics, and to appreciate the magic and excitement of discovering and mastering new knowledge. Many students got so caught in the difficulty and high expectations of her class that they did not realize the opportunity we were being given. With Ms. Kinney, I found more than a great teacher-I found a mentor, a friend, and a confidant. She has enriched my life in more ways than I can say, and I hope that many more students will be wise enough to accept the wealth of knowledge, love, and wisdom that she offers. I cannot thank her enough.