What I like most are lab sessions. The slicing and dicing of potato cells, the skinning of onions, the faces that little things seem to make under the glare of a microscope. Some of these critters just do not appreciate attention. 

The mixing of chemicals is the equivalent of a Potions class, the double bubble boil of trouble. Flares of magnesium light and effervescent joy of discovery.

It is intuitive, perhaps, but onion cells look so different. Those from the purple outer skin are squashed oblong figures while those on the white inner skin are stretched rectangles. Things are simpler under a microscope. 

Lab sessions, usually and unfortunately, are a mess. Sometimes, a sense of being inundated, swept away by so many voices clamouring for immediate attention. 

'Cher, is this okay?

'Cher, is this what I am supposed to see?

'Cher, I broke glass. 

'Cher, my cover slip fell into the sink. It is gone.

A thin square glass fell into the sink and the poor child asked for help. How could glass disappear? I walked over. There was a smooth watery mirror and I - with mild reluctance - who knows what have been poured into this sink? - used my hand to tap around.

There was a thin square glass. I held it up and looked at him. 

But, 'cher -

I waited. My eyebrows might have been raised in anticipation of a juicy retort. 

But... never mind. 

Another student requested for help when the thin wet glass refused to budge from the plastic petri dish. 

How, 'cher, how?

I reasoned that this problem of surface tension could be resolved by using  a paper towelette to dry the petri dish. It worked.

Big brain, wow, thanks, 'cher.

I felt strangely validated and rather virtuous. 

When surrounded by so many voices - each urgent and insistent - it is easy to feel an adrenaline rush. At the end of most lab sessions, I would be deflated, like a poor helium birthday balloon, all limpness and lethargy.  

It's no wonder why my neighbours keep screaming at their three children, insisting that they behave, else threatening to throw them out. 

So, yes, I am thankful. 

Thankful and grateful for the care that my parents have afforded to my brothers and I. The four of us, once scampering around like invasive chipmunks, now adulting to various degrees of success/failure.

 So yes, happy fathers' day, to those who have kids, who look after kids, who might have kids. 

Cheers to one and all. 

Animal cell with its nucleus, mitochondrion,
endoplasmic reticulatum and other organelles.


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