Last quarter, the subject of high school novels came up. Someone mentioned, "You know what book I loved? To Kill a Mockingbird!" Suddenly, people turned around in their swivel chairs:
"I hated that book!"
"I loved that book!"
"That book was okay...I didn't really get it."
"I never really saw the importance of that book..."
This continued for a few more moments until someone was frustrated enough to say, "To Kill A Mockingbird is about civil rights!"
The CAE got quiet, and everyone put their head down acknowledging that he was right...maybe in that moment, some students finally understood the meaning of the book.
It's moments like these that stick in my head. My combustion homework was no longer important. It was realizing that, again, life goes beyond engineering. Tolerance and civil rights are part of an ideal picture of our world, and we strive for it no matter what our scientific situation looks like... and I think our high school English teachers would be proud.
Times change, people don't.