The Beauty of Touch

October 18, 2011
As I walked into my 7th grade Living Environment class, I followed the usual routine. I threw my 300 pound backpack on the floor and plopped my 120 pound frame onto the seat. I glanced around at everyone in the room. They were all chattering away. Unbothered by distant voices, I unzipped my backpack and slapped my book onto the table. Surprisingly, that was loud enough to startle the person next to me. She glared at me, and then tilted her head over to the door. That was when Ms. Fernandez rolled into the room with her rusty cart full of plants. Cluttered on it were tall plants, short plants, and even stubby plants that looked like baby bushes. At that moment everyone knew what we were going to do. We all sighed and mumbled under our breath, "Another boring assignment."

Ms. Fernandez plopped one plant onto each table. The groups that received the flower plants gleamed with happiness. I on the other hand got my hopes crushed when my group received the tiny bush. It was scrawny and looked like it wasn’t going to make it through the rest of the day. Ms. Fernandez ordered us to examine the plant and write down the characteristics we saw. This task seemed boring; however it was more interesting compared to last week’s assignment, which was to observe creepy preserved grasshoppers and spiders. They were probably ancient, considering the musky golden color of the fluid inside. At least this time around I was given the privilege to observe something living. I slowly reached a hand over and placed my fingers on the leaf’s waxy surface. It was so smooth, much better than the dusty surface of the glass jar preserving the dead grasshopper. At this time, Ms. Fernandez let out a deep breath and said, “Class, there are only 2 minutes left. Stop what you’re doing, leave the plants as they are, and head out.” Excited to hear that this was all over, we obliged.

Although this wasn’t the most amazing of science experiments, I actually got to take part in it using something else other than my eyes. To me, science is much more enjoyable when you get to experience it hands-on, even if it’s just touching the leaves of a nearly dead plant.

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