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Vernon Hills teacher obsessed with Einstein
By Vince Pierri | Daily Herald Columnist

Vernon Hills High School physics teacher Josh Ravenscroft has a passion for anything to do with famed scientist Albert Einstein. Ravenscroft went as far as getting a tattoo of the German-born Nobel Prize winner.


Vince Pierri | Staff Photographer

Ravenscraft said he got the Einstein tattoo on a whim, but has no regrets.


Vince Pierri | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/29/2009 3:23 PM

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At first glance, it looks a little like the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia.

Depending how Josh Ravenscraft flexes his muscle, the tattoo image of an older man with a walrus-like mustache and wild gray hair seems to smile or frown.

To say the Vernon Hills High School physics teacher is obsessed with Albert Einstein is an understatement.

Einstein memorabilia and collectibles dominate his classroom.

An Einstein action figure, plush toy, coffee mugs, posters, a life-size cardboard cutout, an Einstein T-shirt, tie and a rare piece Ravenscraft values as one of his favorites.

"This is the only Einstein bobblehead I've ever seen," Ravenscraft says. "It was a gift to me and I've never seen another one."

Ravenscraft's mini Einstein museum is more that just a fun hobby. He has a deep admiration for the German-born Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

"The great thing about Einstein is that he always connected his study of physics to how life works," Ravenscraft said. "He was always able to bring it back to life around you. And that's what I try and convey to my students. Physics isn't some scary, hard class. It's about life."

Getting the tattoo was a spur-of-the-moment thing.

"I did that totally on a whim," Ravenscraft said. "I was a student teacher in 1998 and had been looking at a photograph Einstein. And I just thought to myself, 'that would look great on my arm,' so I did it."

Friends and family don't have a hard time thinking of what to buy Ravenscraft for his birthday.

"It's always something Einstein," he said. "People will just find stuff. If they see anything Einstein, they'll buy it."

And with Halloween coming up soon, Ravenscraft said his 5-year-old son already has his costume picked out. "He'll be Einstein," he said.

Ravenscraft said he'll always be in awe of renowned physicist.

"People came to him with more questions about life than about physics," Ravenscraft said. "He's one of the most quoted people ever and most of the quotes are not about science. He changed the way we look at everything,"