Monday, February 2, 2009

Water Travels

...this is a completely true story.

Ten years ago, an excited seven-year-old dragged her five-year-old sister into the bathroom.

“OK, you have to see this,” the older sister said. She unrolled a fair amount of toilet paper and stretched it across to the windowsill, where she weighted it down as her little sister watched. After that she turned on the facet and cupped her small hands to catch the water. She moved back to the paper and dumped water as close to the middle as she could.

The water crawled across the paper in either direction, more and more of it getting soaked. Eventually the middle was so saturated the paper broke in the middle.

“See? Wasn't that awesome?” the older sister said, smiling.

“What happened?” her sister asked.

“I just proved that water travels! Did you see the way it moved up the paper?”

“Ummm...” the five-year-old looked doubtful. “OK.” She walked out of the room, leaving her older sister feeling somewhat crushed.

Ten years later...

I had been ridiculed for the “water travels” story so many times I didn't dare bring anything related to it up, or else Telpe would automatically tell the story at the most embarrassing possible moments. Over and over I had been told how ridiculous it was. I would never be allowed to forget that stupid “experiment.”

On February 2, 2009, I sat on the end of the second row in Biology II, sipping from a tall thermos of coffee and trying to focus on what my professor was saying about plant's water nutrition system, the osmolarity of plant cells, and the amount of pressure involved.

“So you see, because the plant cells are hydrophilic, the water keeps traveling upwards,” the teacher explained. “Toilet paper is taken from the same material as trees, so if you take a long section of toilet paper and put water on it, you can prove that the water travels up it.”

I choked. Emerwen, who sat beside me, gave me an odd look.

“I'll have to tell you a story later,” I whispered.

“Yes, you will,” she agreed, nodding slowly.

I smiled to myself. After ten years, I was finally triumphant. The childish proof that “water travels” had been proven valid.


Linda B said...

Well, I guess that explains why you turned out to be a writer instead of a scientist! Your scientific curiosity got crushed at a tender age. *sigh*

Thankful Paul said...

Peace be with you

Joy said...

This made me smile. :)

MangyCat said...

Hooray for justification! Now you have a comeback if Telpe brings up that story again. ;o)