When I was on the bus coming home from work yesterday, I saw a guy with this book. It looked so familiar. And I immediately felt sorry for him. Why? Because I hated that book. And seeing it again brought back all these bad memories. I’m not sure what happened to my copy. In high school, we didn’t have to buy our textbooks. That was nice. But this book was a workbook, so I would’ve written in it. So I’m assuming that we kept them. Now I’m upset that I don’t know what I did with it. It would’ve been nice to burn it at the end of the year.
I hated Chemistry. I knew I would hate it. I was terrible at Science. So why did I take it? It wasn’t mandatory. We had to take one Science 11 course and I was already taking Biology, which I also hated, but which people said was the easiest of the sciences. So why take Chemistry? I blame my dad. He told me to take it, you know, just in case I needed it later. But in order to pursue sciences, you needed both Chemistry and Physics. And no way in hell was I taking Physics. I heard there was math involved in that. No thank you.
When I think of that book, I think of how confused I would often get just from opening it. I believe it had a few cartoons randomly in it, I guess to make the student feel more at ease? That was the only part I liked. I can recall flipping through the book during class, solely to read the cartoons. The rest of it didn’t make any sense. Elements, molecular stuff, atoms. I could never, for the life of me, remember the periodic table properly. Organic chem was the worst. I don’t even remember what it was. Or if I even learned what it was in the first place.
I don’t how I managed to pass. I sat in the front too, clueless as ever. I would just smile and try to hide my complete and utter confusion. Luckily, my teacher liked me because I put in effort. Or at least I gave the impression that I was putting in effort. I didn’t do well, but I passed, and that’s all that mattered. Because I would never be taking another Chem course again.
Maybe I shouldn’t feel bad for the guy on the bus. Just because I was terrible at it, doesn’t mean he is too. For all I know, it’s his best subject and he loves it. I can’t imagine how anyone could love it, but to each his own. Why was he holding the book instead of having it in his bag? Maybe he loves it so much he didn’t want to let it out of his sight? And he was just so eager to open it up when he got home he didn’t want to have to dig into his backpack to retrieve it. If that’s the case, my sympathy has now turned to disgust.
I still have resentment for the fact that my dad made me take it. Neither my brother nor my sister had to take it. Because they have no interest in sciences either. But neither did I and I made that very clear. I guess back then, my dad still had hope. Now he knows better. When conversation comes up about my brother and sister and what they’re taking, I would ask my dad why he made me take it and not them. And he would just say something like it’s not about you anymore. Which really doesn’t explain anything at all. Me taking Chem was a waste. But maybe I should thank my dad for making me take it. I may not have gotten much out of it, but if I hadn’t taken Chem, then I wouldn’t have been able to write this post.