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Sesame Street

SALK Day 5 – The Ruth-Mr. D Story – Part 3

My classmates and I who took all the advanced science classes at St. Vincent High School had Mr. DeShazer twice a day during our junior year for Advanced Placement Biology and Honors Chemistry.  They were some of my hardest classes but also my most enjoyable classes.  My classmates and I have been reminiscing about high school memories the last few days…

Chemicals in flasks (including Ammonium hydrox...
Image via Wikipedia

The ceiling of Mr. DeShazer’s classroom had what appeared to be circular burn marks on it.  As sophomores we had no idea why they were there.  As honors chemistry students, we learned that they were created by bubbles that we ignited.  Neat Stuff!!

Before every chemistry lab, we had to write out the procedure, including a section about safety precautions.  Since this was a high school lab, this usually meant “Wear your goggles” and “Be careful when working with acid.”  Somehow we got into the habit of adding safety reminders like “Don’t chew glass.”  Mr. D. went along with it as long as we had the real information in there too.  I think he was entertained by us and joined in our lightheartedness as long as we were serious about the science.

The school created a more restrictive dress code while we were students.  Our rebellious response was to follow the dress code but to wear the most outrageous things we could.  One day my friend BJ walked into class wearing a neon orange reflective safety vest over his shirt.  Without skipping a beat, Mr. D. said, “I see BJ was out directing traffic this morning,” and went on with the class.  It was hilarious because he understood what we were doing.

Sesame Street is doing something right by connecting learning to music.  Mr. D. is doing the same thing.  When we were learning about the ideal gas law, he played a song for us about it: “talkin’ heavy duty chemistry…we’re talkin’ PV=nRT!”  My classmates and I have not heard this song for 16 years, but we still remember it.

I have never met the great Mrs. D.  She must be a wonderful woman because she puts up with the great Mr. D. and she made us mini muffins on the day of the national A.P. Biology test – a four-hour exam that determined whether we got college credit for taking the class.  She knew it was a big deal and did what she could to help us.

Mr. D. had a strict rule about no food in the lab, except for one day a year.  At the end of junior year, after the A.P. Biology test, Mr. D. chili cheese omelets with wild cantrell mushrooms and bagels with truffle butter for his A.P. Bio students.  A.P. Biology was one of the most work-intensive classes I took in high school.  We had a test about every three days, and he pushed us hard to prepare for that test.  I think the end of the year breakfast was a congratulations/thank you celebration.

If any other St. Vincent graduates want to share their DeShazer experiences, please let them as comments.

Click here for Part 4 of the Ruth-Mr. D Story.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsors are Darvin and Jane DeShazer. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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Study Break: Time to Smile

As the semester winds down I, like many of my classmates, find myself exhausted and stressed most of the time.   With finals on the horizon, we’re spending most of our time outlining and studying for our exams, which are the sole basis for many of our grades.  Yesterday, my friend in the law school’s IT department remarked that it looked like I never left the computer lab all weekend because every time he saw me, I was sitting at the same computer, toiling away at my papers.

yip yip yip yip yip yip
Image by It’s Marie the Bee via Flickr

When I’m studying for hours on end, sometimes I need to take a short break to breathe, relax, and smile.  I am very grateful to certain persons and entities who post videos on YouTube who have made me smile during my law school career.  There is a common theme across all these videos:  the main characters are always doing whatever makes sense to them and it works out in the end.  I think along with making me smile, these videos give me hope that if I keep doing what my gut tells me I should be doing, that everything will work out in the end.

Here are my top four entities on YouTube that I watch during a study break:

  1. The Yip Yips – These two martians always make me smile with their innocence and honest perspective.  I have memorized nearly every classic clip of  these two encountering objects for the first time.  If I am ever in Sesame Street’s neighborhood, I will seriously contact the show and ask if I could meet these little guys.  Happy happy happy boing boing boing boing!
  2. FoamyJonathan Ian Mathers is somewhat of a genius for creating this cartoon squirrel that says what many of us wish we could say.  Foamy’s bluntness and honest perspective on everyday life validates many of my views.  He validates the fact that sometimes life sucks and that people often act in moronic ways.  I look forward to every new video of this creature and the rest of the cast.
  3. Tom Green – I watched a lot of Tom Green videos during my 1L year and tried to pick out how many torts he was committing.  There was a lot of infliction of emotional distress.  I like him because he knows that he’s pushing people’s buttons, but it’s always done with an underlying sense that he means no harm.  It’s usually just to be funny and to see people’s reactions to the unexpected.
  4. Where the Hell is Matt – Matt Harding is proof that the American dream is still alive.  He quit his job and took a trip around the world.  He danced a cheesy jig everywhere he went.  He made a video of his dancing.  Stride liked it so much that they paid for him to do it two more times.  One of the things I like about Matt’s work is that there is no underlying agenda.  He’s just a guy who likes to dance – and he does it in some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Thank you to everyone who makes studying for finals a little less painful.  To everyone who loves a law student – we’re not going to be completely human for the next few weeks.  Thank you in advance for being patient, loving, and occasionally giving us reasons to smile.

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