At college I had to take a required course in Physics and Chemistry.
I had already taken a course in Botany and done very well. ...
Botany was fine, because I loved cutting up leaves and putting them
under a microscope and drawing diagrams of bread mold and the odd,
heart-shaped leaf in the sex cycle of the fern, it seemed so real to me.
The day I went into Physics class it was death.
A short dark man with a high, lisping voice, named Mr.Manzi, stood in
front of the class in a tight blue suit holding a little wooden ball.
He put the ball on a steep grooved slide and let it run down to the
bottom. Then he started talking about let a equal acceleration and
let t equal time and suddenly he was scribbling letters and numbers
and equals signs all over the blackboard and my mind went dead.
I took the Physics book back to my dormitory. It was a huge book on
porous mimeographed paper -- four hundred pages long with no
drawings or photographs, only diagrams and formulas -- between brick-red
cardboard covers. ...
I may have made a straight A in Physics, but I was panic-struck. Physics
made me sick the whole time I learned it. What I couldn't stand was
this shrinking everything into letters and numbers. Instead of leaf
shapes and enlarged diagrams of the holes the leaves breathe through
and fascinating words like carotene and xanthophyll on the blackboard,
there were these hideous, cramped, scorpion-lettered formulas in
Mr.Manzi's special red chalk.
From The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.