Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why I Don’t Know a Thing about Chemistry

Do you ever look back at school and wish you studied a little harder? It happens to me all the time. Part of it is because I’m practical; I paid the money to learn and I should have spent the time learning! Part of it’s because I’m competitive; I want to know more than the person who is discussing, or more often, arguing with me. And part of it’s because I admire those who are so gifted at constructing their words and ideas. Be it the girls who write GoFugYourself.com (hilarious), or Kazuo Ishiguro, a man who writes so thoroughly about the thoughts and feelings of a British butler during the 1950’s in The Remains of the Day, that I find myself wondering if I ever have thoughts so well defined (answer: probably not).

I was having this thought, wishing I knew a little more about everything, when I remembered my sophomore year Chemistry class. Chemistry Honors to be exact. It just so happened that my hilarious friend Sheila, amongst other friends, was also in this class. Maybe I should preface this story by saying that I went to an all-girls Catholic high school; impressing boys was the least of our worries. Sheila and I decided very soon into the semester that the material presented in the class was way beyond what our feeble minds could understand, and it just so happened (I say that a lot) that an older girl, who had transferred from another school and was taking Chemistry for her second time, sat right next to us. It didn’t take long before Sheila and I were BEST friends with Stephanie. Stephanie knew all the material inside and out. We had to be her lab partner.

Now you might think that we were trying to take advantage of her to improve our own performance in the class (which we were), but we did realize that we had to bring something to the table to keep her interested in being our lab partner. Cue Pinky and the Brain theme song. Yes it’s true. Sheila and I would act out Pinky and the Brain episodes during our labs to entertain Stephanie. I don’t remember who would play who. I think sometimes I was Pinky and Sheila was the Brain, but we probably switched off; I would have to check my facts with Sheila. But all I remember is that we thought we were HILARIOUS, Stephanie continued to be our lab partner (she probably felt sorry for us) and I ended up with an “A” in the class (after a little pleading and crying, but that’s another story for another time). And that my friends, is why I can confidently say, I don’t know a thing about Chemistry.

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