Would you guess introductory astronomy?
“Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me.”
For decades students in university astronomy courses used this mnemonic to remember the progression of star temperatures from the hottest to the coolest.
But nuclear physicist turned astronomy lecturer Svetlana Barkanova judged that memory aid to be politically incorrect.
“I think we all can agree now that `fineness’ of a girl should not depend on her willingness to kiss somebody,” she explains.
So she challenged the 250-plus students in her introductory astronomy course at Acadia University to do better.
That’s typical of Barkanova’s engaged pedagogy – which includes the zodiac and elements of game shows – which has made the course the most popular on that Wolfville, N.S., campus.
Among the students’ mnemonics:
Officially, Bill Always Felt Guilty Kissing Monica.
Only Boring Astronomers Find Gratification Knowing Mnemonics.
Oh Boy, Acadia’s Fees Gonna Kill Me!
Micro’s favourite is from another source: Only Boys Accepting Feminism Get Kissed Meaningfully.
Here’s the mnemonic translation: Class O stars appear blue, class B stars appear bluish white, class A stars appear white, class F stars appear yellowish white, class G stars appear yellow, class K stars appear orange and class M stars appear red. [link to source]