Meet Mr. Wright, a 70-Something Physics Professor Who Makes Science Fun

A mega-viral video of David Wright's educational antics is making the world smile.

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When you picture a physics professor in his 70s, you probably imagine a stuffy old man who bores all of his students as he listlessly reads from a textbook and writes equations on a blackboard. But David Wright, who teaches at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, Florida, couldn't be anything further from that—and now, there's a viral video to prove it.

On Dec. 11th, one of his students, Erica Church, posted a "video collage of all the crazy things" Wright did this semester and, boy, is it wild.

A shortlist includes him sliding down the hallway on a skateboard, lying on an actual bed of nails, and jumping up and down on a pogo stick while wearing a joker hat. He also makes a lot of things explode and concocts his own ice cream. Presumably, all of this is in the name of science.

Naturally, the video went mega-viral, with more than 260,000 retweets in just one day—because there's nothing more inspiring than an educator who's clearly passionate about their job.

Watching a man in his 70s charge into a classroom like a kid chasing an ice cream truck shows that being young is a state of mind, not a number.

The votes are in: Mr. Wright is a national treasure, and we must protect him at all costs.

"The fact that they pay me is really a bonus," Wright told the college paper, TCC Today, in 2012. "I get to play with all these toys. I like trying to get students excited about science. That's why I do a lot of the crazy things I do. I try to keep my energy level up while teaching. I make it a discussion instead of just talking at them."

It's no wonder that Wright was voted the college's Professor of the Year in 2017. But that's not all. As mentioned in the video, Mr. Wright has quite the illustrious résumé. He's been on Saturday Night Live and he even had his own science show. He's like Bill Nye 2.0 and, let's face it, we could all use another Bill Nye.

After Church's tweet blew up (no pun intended), she followed up noting that Wright really is his students' "grandpa away from home."

She also shared an email that she sent Mr. Wright in which she informed him that he had gone viral and that the internet loved him just as much as his students do.

Wright responded humbly, saying that it was an "amazing semester" because he had "amazing students."

Well, that just takes the biscuit.

With all the stories that you read nowadays about toxic classroom environments, it's heartwarming to see a shining example of students appreciating their professor, and a professor who truly loves what he does.

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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