Wednesday, August 11, 2010

and speaking of science...

I, for one, find it SHOCKING that I can actually mention science twice in one week... you know, without using the words "you better do your" and "homework" on either end of the word.

But since we're on the subject - I have a question... well, really it's a story... but it ends with a question -- bear with.

When I was a Junior in High School I went to a brand spankin' new school.  Best facilities that money could buy... well, the best that Public School money could buy 20+ years ago at least.  Seriously - closed circuit televisions in each room (old hat now) and a state of the art weight lifting facility that any of us who were not on the football team weren't really encouraged to touch.  The science labs were like nothing we'd ever seen.  There were these "hoods" at the side of the room specifically designed to blow stuff up in.  Maybe the designers had heard the story about Tim (yes, his real name) at my Jr. High who singed off his own eyebrows during one little teensy experiment.  Tim wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed before or after that incident.

My chemistry teacher was pretty cool my Jr. year...  he certainly knew how to get our attention.  On day one of class Mr E.  (not even protecting his identity, that's what we called him...  I think it was Eyolfson, but I wouldn't swear to that in a court of law) pulled out a beaker of some clear liquid.  He proceeded to show us that it was QUITE flammable.  This might have been the first use of that "hood" - but it wasn't the last).  He did a few other experiments with it that proved it was a volatile compound.  He promised that it was not any sort of alcoholic beverage... the class is thinking some gasoline... but then.... He.  Drinks.  It.   (insert shocked gagging noise here)

Did we all want to know what this stuff was?  You bet - we cajoled and begged... but no dice.  Mr. E promised to tell us at graduation what it was that he drank.

8 months later - the district let go all the non-tenured teachers at our school - bye, bye Mr. E.  (I should tell you sometime about my hippie walk-out protest days sometime... but they didn't work)

so, 20 years later - I still don't freakin' know what it was he tossed down his gullet that day!!!  I can't say that this has given me much cause for concern over the years - I just choose to only drink non-flammable, non combustible liquids and I've been pretty happy.  Well, you know, as happy as we can be after they removed Sharkleberry Fin from the Kool-aid flavors. 

but I do have my moments of curiosity.

and then they pass.

Personal note to my kids:  good luck on your first day back to school - if any of your teachers drink a mysterious clear combustible liquid - have them call me - or better yet... comment here so that we can ALL rest easier tonight!

14 comments:

The Empress said...

Oh, too bad there wasn't FB back then... you could find out the answer!!!!

Barbaloot said...

Huh...I'd be curious, but as a general rule I try to avoid anything scientific so I think I'm good.

Garden of Egan said...

It's so weird that your kids are back in school already!
I can't believe it.
Now what are you gonna do for entertainment?

S said...

I want to know what that stuff is and I wasn't even there. Too bad I'm not a detective!

Saimi said...

you can find anything on Google, I'd Google it!

So your kids are already in school and bringing home homework? Wow! Nothing like diving right in.

I think I'm going to go dive into the pool now!

MommyJ said...

Someone has to know... maybe google?

SWIRL said...

I'll ask my brother-- he has a degree in chemical engineering... { He might not know anything cool or useful like that} but he might be able to find out. {he's now a doctor...} So he might be able to narrow down non-lethal chemicals..

we'll see..
I am really curious!
Thanks
Another thing to side-track me from unpacking!

Lisa said...

Sharkleberry Fin has been taken away? All this time, and I didn't even know it~but now it's like a funeral in my heart.

I really want an addendum to this post. I MUST know what he drank.

T said...

alright - I sent the link to all my old classmates (well, the 3 I could remember) I wonder if any of them are as curious as I am?

my Chemist brother in law was no help when I asked him about it... or maybe he just didn't want to expose a trade secret?

T said...

okay - just to satisfy my readers' curiosity I have gone WAY OUT on a limb... I looked up this Mr. E guy in my yearbook and found out his first name... then looked him up on facebook and sent him the link. hopefully it's the same guy and I can finally get some closure so that we can all sleep at night?

and hopefully I won't find myself slapped with a restraining order by some stranger... because 20 years have passed and I can't tell if this little black and white thumbnail looks ANYTHING like that smiley guy on facebook...

Cherie said...

Hi I'm new to your blog - I noticed we visit many of the same people so I thought I would come over and say "Hi".
I'm a comment queen and now I am your newest follower!!! :-D
It would be VERY interesting to know what that was! I want to know just so I can do it for my kids on our next camping trip so they can think I'm cool and stuff - maybe it would freak them out a little too. Think of the possibilities!

Holly said...

Can't wait to hear if he responds and what the answer is...

So now you've got us ALL CURIOUS!! Way to GO!

I asked the hubs what HE thought... First he said, "Easy! BOOZ!"
EXCEPT that... NOT alcoholic"
"OH"
Now HIS wheels are turning....
10 mins pas... He returns
"Bacon grease or cooking oil"

So that's the best we could come up with. Fingers are crossed that this is the guy and he can rest our minds at EASE!!

Teachinfourth said...

If I even SUSPECT that a student has tampered with my water bottle (I have a few that I could see doing it) I will dump it out…your teacher was a brave man.

Or crazy.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

I will ask my husband, did you know he is a college chemistry teacher? he might know. Can't wait to hear back on the result.

Or maybe that is what the next post is, sorry I have been working too much and am behind on my reading.