Why being married to a science teacher is the best

The world's richest woman has married a science teacher – she's found true riches, says science spouse Stephen Petty

Stephen Petty

The world's richest woman, MacKenzie Scott, has just married a science teacher - lucky her, says Stephen Petty

The world’s richest woman, MacKenzie Scott, divorced the boss of Amazon and has now gone and married a science teacher, of all things. 

There is no mistaking the thinly disguised subtext in most reporting of this match, though the truth is that she is the one who has struck gold. 

Reader, I married a science teacher, and I can confirm that Scott's decision is more than a mere upgrade. This isn’t just moving on from Amazon to Amazon Prime. It’s even better than reaching the nirvana that is Amazon Same Day. 

No, when shacking up with a science teacher, you venture into a whole new world of wonder and intrigue. 

Five reasons why it's great to have a science-teacher partner

Where to start, really, when trying to explain what is so unique about sharing your life with a science teacher? Here’s just a taster of what MacKenzie Scott can now enjoy.

1. Infectious enthusiasm

Science teachers often have a totally infectious enthusiasm for things we used to think were a bit boring. To offer a recent example, when a few chunks of space charcoal were first reported to have landed “somewhere north of Cheltenham”, my partner was all for us driving west for 30 miles, to go and help hunt them down. 

And while in a previous life my only interest in said rocks might have been the fact that they apparently contained some alcohol, I am now as educated and as keen as she is in telling people how significant and interesting they really are. 

2. Answers to questions

When you’re with a science teacher, all the questions about life that suddenly spring into your head can be given an informed and understandable answer – which, in my case, means delivering it as if to a not-particularly-sharp Year 5. 

Who else can give so informed and clear an answer as to whether there is other intelligent life in the universe? Who else can explain how the house martins will somehow find their way back to the same nest under our gutter, despite travelling thousands of miles? Who else can tell us how those snowdrops and daffodils know when to emerge, or why the human mind seems to take such an extraordinary interest in Piers Morgan

Certainly not me. Certainly not Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

3. They are students of everything

I find that science teachers tend to know an awful lot about everything else, too. Those of us on the artsier side might like to think that we have the greater expertise in matters of history, literature, art and so on, but I wouldn’t like to put it to the test. 

4. They can laugh at themselves

When gathered together, science teachers may sometimes play up to the stereotypical image, though I always sense that this is just to comfort us lesser folk. 

They might talk about how “sad” their world is, but we and they know that they do not mean it. They might occasionally exchange familiar, incomprehensible in-jokes with one another, but it is really just to help the rest of us keep alive the delusion that we are somehow cooler than they are

Take the rather niche joke about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, for instance. Heisenberg went for a drive and got stopped by the police. The police officer asked him, “Do you know how fast you were going?” 

Heisenberg replied, “No, but I now know where I am."

(Heisenberg, you see, argued that you cannot simultaneously know your precise position and your speed, as I understand it, which I probably don’t.) 

5. They let their partner get on with other things while they're busy marking 

People have previously discussed how hard it is for partners to be married to a teacher, given how much “free” time the teacher spends on marking and preparing. 

But, for the likes of MacKenzie, that situation will be an absolute blessing, enabling her to follow her many and considerable philanthropic and literary pursuits. 

By freeing her up to spend even more of her time on philanthropy, a teacher’s marking is probably going to provide even more benefit to the world than it has ever done before. 

Stephen Petty is head of humanities at Lord Williams’s School in Thame, Oxfordshire

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