Monday, June 7, 2010

Protons, electrons, and neutrons, oh my!

Dear Self at 16:

Some day you're going to have sons.  They're going to ask you a million questions, 83% of which are science questions, and you are going to wish you had learned a bit more.  It's in your best interest to put down Seventeen magazine, stop doing your math homework in chemistry class, and pay attention.

At least a little.

Oh, and the next time you sit down to write a short story, see what you can do with a sparkly vampire boy and werewolves. 

Trust me on this one.

Your Grown Up Self.

It's not like I don't know anything about science.

I can handle astronomy and meteorology questions; I love that stuff.  I am a wealth of useless knowledge about supernovas (lots of imploding and exploding) and tornadoes and occluded weather fronts. 

I got A's in biology in both high school and college (plus, I've taken First Aid and have seen every episode of E.R., Grey's Anatomy, and Scrubs, so I'm pretty sure I'm almost a medical professional). 

I not only remember some physics, but can identify examples in my everyday life.  For instance, if you hold a baby up over your head and he spits up, you're going to need to buy a new shirt.  Because of gravity.  That's physics right there. 

But really, I should never have passed chemistry.

In fact, let me tell you what I remember about chemistry from high school:

1. I sat next to a kid who chewed tobacco and spit into an empty water bottle through out the class.  I spent the entire class trying not to throw up.

2.  This same kid was also the class clown.  He was undeniably hilarious, usually at the expense of someone else.  Everyday I prayed he wouldn't notice me.  This worked until one day when I wore a seriously awesome outfit, brand new from The Weathervane.  It was a red and black plaid skirt with a matching jacket.  I had my black tank top and black leggings (the ones with lace at the bottom; because nothing suggests sex appeal like a lace-bottomed-legging).  I also had a matching scrunchy and matching earrings.

Seriously, WHAT is cooler than matching your skirt, jacket, scrunchy, and earrings?

Um, NOTHING.  That's what.

(shut up, it was 1992)

I walked in wearing my super-stylish outfit, sat down, and immediately felt him looking at me.


I avoided eye contact.  I took out my notebook, crossed and uncrossed my legs, chewed my pen, and then tried to look very busy doodling on the desk. 

"Hey," he said.  "HEY," he said again when I ignored him the first time.

He looked at me with a straight face and asked, "What, no bagpipes?"

I never wore my awesome plaid ensemble again. 

3.  One day a girl in the class, Gina, laughed so hard she farted.  I went to school with this girl for 7 years and I remember nothing about her other than her last name and that she farted at some point during the 1991-1992 school year.

4.   Our teacher was an older guy.  He wasn't a mean older guy, he was sweet like a Grandpa.  One day he stood up with a piece of paper in each hand and held his arms out to his side.  He started scooting across the floor, raising one arm up while lowering the other, again and again.

I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

But he sure looked cute doing his little dance.

5.  I got an A on the midterm.

6.  I sort of cheated on the midterm.  I didn't even take the test; a boy who sat diagonal to me took the test, wrote his answers down on a small piece of paper, tucked it into his calculator, and passed the calculator on to me (we were allowed to share calculators; see, I told you our teacher was clueless sweet).  When I brought home my report card, my mother looked at my grades, confused. 

  "I don't understand how you could get C's first and second term and then get an A on the midterm?"

  "I know, I studied really hard." 

I don't even know how I managed C's the first two terms.  Apparently, turning my Scantron sheet on it's side and coloring in dots that formed the letters of the first name of the boy I liked at the time was C-level work.  Sweet.

7.  Our textbook was red.  I think I once saw the term 'covalescent bond' in it. 

(I totally just googled 'covalescent bond' to make sure that was even a real thing.) 

(It is.)

You'd best study up, Self at 16.

And enough with the AquaNet already.


  1. Maybe your outfit would have had some applause in 1985??? I am pretty sure the buffalo plaid and lace were over by the early 90s! LOL
    Great story... great blog... Keep the stories coming! (Directed here by our mutual friend Sarah!)

  2. Jenn, you crack me up!
    And, Jessica, you need to remember that we grew up in the suburbs, where we were probably at least a couple years behind you fashionistas in Manhattan! And, besides, we were in elementary school in 1985, you old lady! ;)

  3. hello from mbc! and uh... you forgot the matching socks with that scrunchie outfit combo. just sayin... ;)
    adriel @ the mommyhood memos