Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tribute to My High School Chemistry Teacher

Like many kids, when I was in school I'd often sit in class bored out of my mind, wondering what possible use I would have as an adult for many of the subjects I studied. Truth of the matter is that most of the stuff I learned in school I forgot the second that finals were over.

Junior year of high school I took Chemistry. My teacher was a very nice man, Martin Spivak. To this day I have never had an occasion to know when to drop a proton or borrow an electron. Who would have guessed, way back then, that chemistry would play a major part in my life? Soap is made by the chemical reaction of mixing vegetable oils or animal fat with a strong alkali (either sodium hydroxide for bar soap, or potassium hydroxide for liquid soap). Whenever I make a batch of soap, I like to think that wherever he is, Mr. Spivak would be very proud.

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