a vestige of thought...
Saturday, August 12, 2006
K is for Potassium
In chemistry, when I had to memorize a certain number of chemical symbols, potassium was always easiest for me to remember because it was so random. Though I despised chemistry at the time, I have a lot of fond memories of that class. (Physics was definitely better though, both in subject matter and in company.) My fondest memories are of experiments. Things that blow up or bubble or spark or melt or change color are much more interesting than things that may or may not roll or swing or fall correctly. I remember a particular episode (that I will never forget) where my teacher put steel wool in a plastic bag with... something (HCl, maybe?) and have it to a particular student. The concoction in the bag sparked and flamed a bit and the student leaped six feet and squealed like a girl. It was hysterical. This student was subsequently in my physics class as well, and the others who were there for the incident have never let him forget it. =D
Potassium brings a few other things to mind. The first is a sleepover I attended in third grade. We watched Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. I don't remember a whole lot of the movie, but there was one part where a kid had some illness that he needed medication for. He forgot to take it and when he passed out, some other kid stuffed a banana in his mouth because he needed potassium.
My violin teacher used to tell me to eat a banana before I performed because the potassium in it had some sort of calming effect. I'm not sure if it really worked, but I did eat a banana before I performed as often as I remembered to.
K = Potassium. I suspect there is some reason for this random association. Cybercookies to anyone who can tell me why...