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Common App: Significant Influence: Chemistry Teacher.


mishac 1 / -  
Dec 31, 2010   #1
Prompt: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

I feel like its rushed or missing something. Any suggestions? I feel like i have to explain more but idk what to add to it. Please and thank you :D

All I saw were flashes of green, red, and blue, it happened so fast: students crawling over chairs, and desks, knocking each other out of the way in a flurry to get the right answer. It was like watching lions at the zoo when they would roar and claw at each other for the precious meat. Finally one of the students had reached the front-- Success! they had gotten to the piece of meat or in this case my tenth grade chemistry teacher and presented their papers to him. The anxiety was unbearable. We would all watch and wait in awe as he would read line by line to see if the student had won the ultimate prize: Bonus Points. It could go one of two ways. Scene one: "No, next person." The students face would change from excitement to pure anguish as he was tossed aside. Scene two: "Yep" he would nod. "Yes!" the student would jump up with delight and jubilation while the rest of us would sit there disappointed at having lost yet another bonus point. He would write the next problem on the board and we would work furiously to solve it determined to get that next bonus point. Definition: Bonus points: when our teacher wrote chemistry problems on the board and we tried to solve them; whoever finished the problem first would get a bonus point which be added to his or her grade.

Dr. Trafton was a mere five foot five with striking blue eyes and wavy gray hair. He was usually casually dressed in slacks, a polo shirt, and sneakers. He made chemistry electrifying. Literally. He hid underneath the desk one morning and jumped out with his hair standing on end. He had a Van de Graff generator underneath. He laughed, compared his hair to the poster of Einstein behind him and began class.

He sauntered around the classroom "Yeah your rubbing fat on you" he said with a sly grin. "Ew" all my classmates had looks of disgust on their faces. My teacher was lecturing on the process of how soap was made from animal fat. While the rest of my classmates were revolted, I was intrigued. That night I went online and watched a video on the saponification process and it began my recognition that chemistry went beyond simple reactions like baking soda and vinegar in an elementary school volcano. I became addicted and articles ranging from caramelization to the radiation in photography were my afternoon drug.

At the end of that year Dr. Trafton had not just filled my brain with lessons, chemical compounds, stoichiometry, and processes but had also filled my heart with something more: my newfound love of chemistry.



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