H-F professor Brian McCarthy made learning physics theories simple

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For a long time, Brian McCarthy showed abstract notions at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. He retires this month.

Many alumni remember McCarthy as their physics professor. He went into the field to some degree since his folks accepted, “I would do a good job explaining what was going on,” he recalls.

“Part of it is just the language we use in physics is math and it’s like teaching a foreign language. You’re learning what’s going on in the world, but mathematically,” the retiring teacher said. “Some of it also is when we can tie in what we do in class to real-world applications.”

H-F was searching for a physics professor in 1987, and McCarthy was the main senior at Illinois State University graduating with a degree in physics. He applied and was extended to the employment opportunity.

The greatest change for him throughout the years has been the use of PCs that made his job, and his teaching, a lot simpler.

“In 1987 when I started, there were no computers for teachers to use. For attendance, I would fill in a little bubble sheet and drop it into a mail slot and someone would come by and deliver it to the attendance office,” he recalled.

What’s more, his instructing has gone from utilizing stopwatches and strings to PCs to online recreation. McCarthy says PCs “help the children envision a portion of the things that are truly unique.” But by utilizing the correct recreation “you’ll discover pictures of things that you can’t see in any case. It permits them to comprehend what is happening.”

He would welcome visitor speakers to class to give understudies thoughts on professions utilizing math and physics ideas.

Physics is a piece of the main subjects at H-F. McCarthy said his understudies for the most part were youngsters. Throughout the years, huge numbers of his understudies have proceeded to do some stunning things.

Dan Abramov was an understudy at SpaceX when it was building up a rocket that could come back to earth and land on a canal boat.

“Just out of the blue he contacted me about speaking to classes, and of course I said yes. He had a goal of building SpaceX and he was part of a model rocket ship club at Northwestern (University) and that got the whole ball rolling,” McCarthy said. “There have been a lot of great kids over the years, I’d be talking for hours.”

He referenced Eugene Soltes, presently the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Furthermore, H-F alumna Anjali Kumar, broadly perceived lawyer and business visionary, as of late referenced McCarthy as one of her preferred educators.

Truly, he’s had understudies who have proceeded to do extraordinary things, yet no, McCarthy appears to disregard any impact he may have had.

“I don’t know. A lot of these kids, I think by the time they get to me their parents have done the job getting them on the right track of where they’re going to go,” he said. He believes students do well when parents value education, instill a work ethic, and support the school.

McCarthy reflects that being a physics teacher: “It’s been a good job for me. The people I work with, they’re just so great. I enjoyed being with them day in and day out. This whole coronavirus (school closing) I found that I miss seeing them every day.”

With retirement drawing nearer, McCarthy said he’s going for a difference in scenery since “I’m very tired of winters in Chicago.” He and his wife, Christine, will be relocating to the southeastern U.S.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Herald Quest journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.