Things in My Past That Needed to Not Happen for Me to Be Into the “Hard Sciences”

Things in My Past That Needed to Not Happen for Me to Be Into the “Hard Sciences”

-When I tried growing “crystals” (not meth) in a Styrofoam cup in 1st grade, I would’ve had to have more than just greasy yellow residue show up, which my Mom dumped out 3 weeks later.

-My 5th grade science fair project on “centrifugal force” would’ve had to have ended up in some other way than my dad chasing me with a ruler attached to a bouncy ball across our front lawn.

-In the 3rd grade, my two-week passing interest in “Chia Pets” would’ve needed to have been sustained.

-I shouldn’t have seen my guinea pig’s head sliced and diced by a rider lawn mower, which forever traumatized me in biology class.

-I would’ve at some point needed to understand that Sea Horses are NOT the size of small bicycles. Becky Lang agrees with me that the approximate size of Sea Horses has been greatly overstated (and is something we both should’ve known before entering our relative 20s).

-My science teacher could’ve worn low shirts exposing generous cleavage while bantering on about god-knows-what-involving-beakers-and-and-meniscus lines or whatever.

-NASA could’ve advertised the need for “Heroes” on the back side of the after-school cartoon, “Tailspin,” which is popular for two other reasons: 1) featuring a theme song vaguely Hall n’ Oates-ish and 2) being itself a meta-“spin” off of the Jungle Book…I think.

-My frog that I sliced open with a box-cutter could’ve done something, anything other than spit up opaque guts-juice at me like a pricked, squirting water balloon.

-When in the 9th grade, we had to design “aerodynamic” planes that had to carry a carton of eggs safely across the football field, something other than all of my eggs exploding into omelet juice would’ve needed to have happened.

-In the 7th grade, when I accidentally misread the instructions about “going outside” for a water-propelled rocket, I should’ve been anywhere other than our school’s expensive new computer lab when I lit off a pop-bottle-sized rocket that covered the surrounding 20 yards-squared in a pool of water.

-When my high school chemistry teacher asked me what my favorite part of his class was, I should’ve been able to tell him something more impressive than, “I liked the part where you said that each snowflake is different, yeah, that part” while he spooned noodle salad in my buffet line.

-In my college geology class I shouldn’t have laughed hysterically when our red-haired lab assistant who I was always certain got through class solely by imaging a good martini in her hand turned bright in the face the first time she talked about “rock cleavage.”

-Dunstan McGill

Photo courtesy West Point Public Affairs