How I Flunked The Science Fair ...But Saved The World
Transformation Magazine|September 2019
How I Flunked The Science Fair ...But Saved The World
All that appears lost will be restored as we recognize that we can never lose ourselves.
Alan Cohen

In the ninth grade I did a project for the city science fair. It was about photosynthesis. I set up a little lab in my bedroom with colored lights on African Violets. I had no idea what I was doing and I learned nothing. I would rather have been playing baseball.

When the big event came, I displayed my experiment in the sprawling exhibition hall, next to kids who actually knew what they were doing. Science teachers milled around the hall, inspecting the projects and quizzing the students. A teacher approached me, and the conversation came around to genetics. “If you cut the tail off of a rat, will its children have short tails or long ones?”

The answer was obviously “long ones.” But since my mind was with the Yankees more than hypothetical mice, I answered, “short.”

The teacher nodded briefly, said nothing, and moved on.

I didn’t win the science fair.

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September 2019