Reverberation from the Past and Present

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“Excuse me. Can you speak up a little?” came the request from a fellow student seated near me towards the rear of the classroom. This was Organic Chemistry, and as a second-year physics student, I abhorred Organic Chemistry.To make matters worse, there were 25 students in the laboratory classroom scattered about granite worktables, each of us straining to hear something that would help us differentiate one hydrocarbon compound from the next.Our metal stools seemed to amplify each fidget when their four steel feet reacted against sealed concrete floors. My eyes focused intently on the teacher’s lips, as I struggled to gain additional comprehension of each spoken syllable. Some other students had already given up, with their vision now voyaging abstractly over the concrete block walls decorated sparsely with thin paper molecular diagrams and the obligatory Periodic Table of Elements.

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