"The mole," he explained seriously while drawing a funny-looking rodent, "is our salvation" chimed in the voice of my mother. I tried to dislodge the phantom and concentrate on the teacher. For once, I wasn't distracted by talk of explosions or the smell of methane gas. "A mole is the amount of matter that has the same number of structural units ..." Wait just a minute here! Whatever happened to those little brown animals? The ones that are always tearing up gardens. What do they have to do with chemistry? Shouldn't we have studied them in biology? "Ah, but the mole is our salvation," reminded my mother's voice. "Avogadro, Amedeo avocado ..." A tightly folded piece of notebook paper landed on my lap. It informed me that everyone has Avogadro's number. So, should we all call him? "6.023 times 10 to the 23rd, the number of atoms ..." Today is mole day, October 23 at 6: 02 a.m. Any relation to ground hog day? "Only the mole is our salvation." "You'll be using the concept of a mole from now on." "I like moles. They're cute," a timid voice broke into my thoughts. I've definitely gone crazy. Again. Maybe this time I'll be saved by a mole. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.