Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The In-Between

She greeted me with a smile, and that was all the encouragement I needed. Jordan and I easily slipped back into our routine of solving problems together, this time regarding the kinetics of chemical reactions. As it is one of my favorite topics, I tried to convey that same enjoyment to her. Admittedly, however, it is not the most intuitive, so we went through many examples. It was exceedingly pleasing to observe her enthusiasm grow proportionally to the ease with which she solved them.
            While elucidating this lesson, something unexpected struck. I had been explaining that though we may know a chemical reaction and even its equilibrium state, we are unable to determine the rate at which it had occurred with the equation as our sole informant. The chemical reaction given involves only the overall reactants and products, leaving out the intermediates in between. This is remarkably similar to all our paths. We may know our general direction, but it is impossible to predict the journeys each of us will take. I had expected to streamline from college to medical school, but here I am, somewhere I’d never imagined. And this journey has been so enriching, so full of experiences that I would never give up. I hope that as each of us continues down our respective paths, we keep in mind that each step is for a reason, and each turn holds a meaning. Because, unlike chemical reactions, the beginning and the end for us bear no significance without the middle.

January community service hours: 2