Hello, my name is Zoe. I am here to tell you about the most memorable moment of my high school career… so far. For me, as with many of you in this room, high school is approximately half over. Four of the most important years in one’s personal character developments, some would say. We meet friends that we will never forget; make enemies that we will seemingly never forgive, memories that we will take with us to the end of our days. Good memories and bad memories, high school memories tend to never leave our memory banks. It doesn’t always have to be the most exciting memory, as some memories occupy our thoughts for no apparent reason.
As I thought about this topic, and tried to narrow down my most memorable, school related, memory, I realized that if I had to spend so much time pondering it, it probably was not that memorable. So the memory that strangely seemed to not leave my thoughts came from a class that others would most likely try to forget. But how could such a good memory come in a class that was not good at all? Well, the things that made it so special was, for starters, the very fact that I enjoyed the class which I had dreaded all semester, the friends who were able to experience it with me, and the newfound attitude I had in that class afterwards.
For those of you have already taken or are currently in chemistry, specifically Ms. Siddons’s honors chemistry, you understand the tedious, seemingly only busy work assigned daily. For those of you who have not been in chemistry or those who do not share my feelings toward chemistry, think about that class that made you dread coming to school, but not wanting to go home because of the mounds of homework from that class you knew would be waiting for you when you got there. For some of you, that could be every class.
But imagine with me, if you will, that class that you hated for whatever reason-whether it be because of boring subject or class, lack of skill in the particular subject, lots of work, etc. Take all of that and put it into one class. That was how I felt about honors chemistry. Mrs. Siddons. Second block. Perhaps it sounds like a major exaggeration, but honestly, this was “that class”. From the first day of spring semester last year, right after she yelled, “ID’s and dress code! Be seated before the bell or I’ll write you up,” I knew this class would be a struggle.
No, this is not a speech about how I used hard work and determination to achieve a goal I had set for myself in this class, although it may seem that way. So why was this class my favorite high school memory? Because my favorite high school memory comes from the day we made ice cream, for the entire period, in the class I had once hated. No, I was not alone in this class. In fact, I knew pretty much everyone there. In fact, my best friends were in that class. How could you hate a class if all of your friends were there? Well, chemistry was not, in any way, a class in which you were able to talk to friends or joke around.
The rules were strictly enforced and we often worked bell to bell on notes and independent assignments. But on that day, the teacher allowed us to split up into groups-if you can even call it that-which ended up being just the whole class. There were different stations set up. You would go through each station like an assembly line preparing your ice cream. After you mixed in your ingredients, the ice cream making itself took about ten minutes to become the frozen treat we all love-or most of us anyway. All the while we were talking and laughing. Even our teacher joined in the conversations.
Had I not known the other students in that class, it probably would not have been quite as memorable. Not only because I was able to enjoy the class in which had I so hated, but also because I was able to enjoy it with my best friends who had, in that class, previously only been classmates. Now you might be thinking the same thing I was when I heard that we would make ice cream (or not). I thought we would probably waste about fifteen minutes of class with the teacher making ice cream- we might even get to eat some. But the eventually would have to spend time typing a lab report explaining how it pertained to chemistry.
This is what usually happened, as it did with the S’more Chemistry Lab and the Butter Lab. But no, the lab only had two questions-although this was one of the only labs I understood- one of which pertained to how the ice cream tasted. This changed the way I thought about the teacher and the class. We didn’t have more questions because we all already understood the lab. To be honest, I normally thought she just took the fun out of everything she could. But after this, I realized she was teaching the subject the best way she could, which usually required many hours of homework.
But when possible, she did let us have fun. Teaching us how salt lowers the freezing point of ice, so much that it could make ice cream, the best way she could. Now I will not lie and say that every day of chemistry was great after that or that I stopped dreading that class. But I will say my attitude toward learning each new topic definitely changed. Instead of just thinking that she was trying to ruin our lives with so much homework, I now realized that it was probably going to help us in the long run for the test; which did make it somewhat more enjoyable.
In conclusion, I would like to make sure that it is clear that this is not just memorable because we were able to goof off in class. That has happened in countless classes of mine in the past the three years and probably yours, too. But that day was memorable because in a class like chemistry in which doing anything pertaining to the subject of fun is rare, things like this become memories you remember for the rest of your life. Thank you for being here today. I really appreciate you all giving me your time today to tell you about my favorite high school moment. The end.