By Jewels ’11
One year, you’re going to get hit with it – the class, the one so unfeasibly difficult, so deliriously mind-boggling, each night you’ll stare down at your eraser-sullied mega-crinkle of a paper and wonder, “Is this really hard, or am I stupid this semester?”
Now, I know not all of you will experience academic horrors such as this (for, as all Marlborough girls are aware, intellectual robots walk among us), but for the great majority, the class, this 45-minute period of evil, exists as a foreboding reality.
And for 15-year-old Jewels, this class was Chemistry Honors.
When it came to chemistry, I could have printed my formal labs on an ancient scroll and presented it ceremoniously between the clamped jaws of a semi-sedated ocelot, because no amount of tutoring or studying or intense eye contact with Shari Kuroyama was getting me anywhere besides desperate. After nine months of mental and emotional slaughter, my freshman self had a femur-sized bone to pick with Avogadro and his pesky number. And yet, despite the strain of realizing I, like a zombie waiting impatiently for the pediatrician, was forever barred from basic chemical understanding – Honors Chem became a class I reminisce upon with nostalgia.
How, you might ask? How does a girl gaze upon an exam grade that makes “C average” look like a heel-clickin’ rodeo, and still maintain a twinkle to her eye and a song in her heart?
Mr. Guevin. Obviously.
Thus, it is my turn to present to you an exclusive interview with the one, the only, the man who dwells in the shadow of the CRC handbook…
1. If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
Oh my goodness. These are not the questions I expected. Um, well I guess I would be a mole, because celebrating mole day is such an important part of chemistry, because the mole is central to everything we do in chemistry.
2. If you were going to identify with a famous figure in history (or now), who would it be and why?
(full bellied laugh) Hmmm. Okay, let’s see. I would say Lavoisier. I mean, he’s really one of the leading early chemists, and he was the first to isolate hydrogen and oxygen and provided evidence for the conservation of mass, just a lot of things that are fundamental to chemistry.
3. What is one of your favorite — and you don’t have to talk about me, it’s not entirely necessary — one of your favorite memories of working here at Marlborough?
Let’s see, favorite memories…well I guess maybe the first Marlborough graduation, because before I came here, I taught at a public school that was very different from Marlborough, and I was amazed at the sort of the beauty and the elegance and how everything was totally planned out. But I think also it was the first time I saw some of my students graduate…all of their accomplishments. I realized this is a special place and is not like a typical school in America.
4. If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?
Oh my goodness. (pregnant pause)
5. What movie makes you cry every time?
Hmm. I’m not really one to cry at movies, but, certainly Brokeback Mountain was one of the most powerful I’ve seen.
6. Describe your childhood with one word and one sound
I guess you could say “studious.” And… the… sound of… silence.
7. It seems like academics and learning are really important to you. Do you have any advice to give to Marlborough girls in terms of their academics?
I mean, I would say certainly to really conscientiously approach all your classes, but probably the most important thing is finding something that you’re passionate about and pursuing it, because ultimately when you go out to college, into a career, you don’t want to have a job that you dread going to every day. I know plenty of people that absolutely hate their jobs, and it’s just to get the paycheck, and as soon as five o’clock rolls around they don’t want to have anything to do with it. Find what you’re passionate about, and the way to do that is exploring everything, because you really don’t know…you never know what you’re going to like.