I got an A in high school biology but this is all I can remember


Eleven years after high school biology, I remember nothing but these three things. They improve my life on a daily basis, but they definitely do not grant me the title of “Knows Stuff About Biology”:

  1. I write delta (Δ) to mean “change” in my shorthand notes, which saves time.
  2. I retain a limited understanding of the concepts of enzymes and activation energy, an understanding I deploy exclusively in the creation of metaphors. (e.g. “The activation energy needed to make our BYO-paper-maché-bobsled party a successful one is pretty high.” “The enzyme in that hookup was tequila.”)
  3. I know that biology is complicated and memory is a skill, and you will impress me if you know a lot about biology or remember what you learned in high school.

If you’re reading this, Dr. Merritt, I’m sorry. Although! I do remember that I enjoyed your class. Which is all that teachers care about, right? The lingering personal impressions they made upon their students? Also, your unrepentant combination of Birkenstocks and wool socks was bold for its day and remains an admirable stance.

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5 thoughts on “I got an A in high school biology but this is all I can remember

  1. Emily

    Really? That’s all you remember? What about punnet squares? Mitosis? Osmosis? Mitochondria! (Don’t ask me what that is or what it does–I just remember the word.) Gotta say, the thing that stuck with me the most from Dr. Merritt’s class is “the miracle of the sphincter”. So much gross stuff would happen were it not for all the sphincters in our bodies.

    Reply
    1. nmirra Post author

      Punnet squares – that’s the process where you see how alleles between to mating individuals will turn out?

      Mitosis – something with cells

      Osmosis – the passing of water (or people) through a semi-permeable barrier between two cells (or two rooms in a bar) where the relative amounts of water (or people dancing) is unequal.

      Mitochondria – part of a cell that…filters stuff?

      Reply
      1. emadresh

        I believe mitochondria is the “power house” of the cell. Therefore, it has something to do with energy. It looks like a string bean gone wild. Also, my science teacher in 7th grade wore birkenstocks with wool socks. It must be a pre-req to science teaching…

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