Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good Old Mr. Kissel

A lot of stuff has happened since I last posted, and most of it is stuff that even the phantom readers of this readerless blog won't actually care about. In summary, sophomore year is over. That includes organic chemistry, which I couldn't be happier to be over and done with (though, as my mom likes to remind me, I can't forget about it quite yet thanks to the impending MCATs). I'm looking forward to junior year.

As I've mentioned before, I'm spending the summer on campus doing research, which should be interesting. In an attempt to stave off any potential burn-out or homesickness, my parents were cool enough to fly me home for the weekend, so I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my flight back to Claremont. On my way to my terminal, I stopped in a restroom to, y'know, fix my hair...and was all of a sudden struck by how automated to the whole place was. Now that toilets, faucets, and even soap and towel dispensers are motion-sensitive, you don't have to touch anything. It's pretty wild.

This is something that I feel like my old science teacher, Mr. Kissel, would have appreciated. When I was a kid in his second grade science class, he had me living in fear of the bacteria that hangs out on toilet flushes, door handles, and everywhere else. "What's the point in washing your hands after using the restroom?" he would ask, "When the next thing you do is touch a door handle that's covered in bacteria?"

To keep us germ-free, Mr. Kissel used to have us dip our hands in a bucket of chlorine-treated water that he kept outside of the classroom before and after class, and then shake the water off so we wouldn't have to ruin our cleanliness with a bacteria-covered paper towel.

Mr. Kissel is the same guy who taught us how to count in binary, froze ping pong balls in liquid nitrogen, and gave us a very good mnemonic device for remembering the planets of the solar system (My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas...though I suppose it's moot now, what with Pluto not being a planet anymore and all). I credit him with much of my interest in science, so way to go Mr. Kissel!

I hope he's doing well.

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