Virginia's Disintegrating Sweater

Its funny what comes to mind when you start thinking about school days, as I remember it Mr. Huculak's classes were somewhat different from the normal, he was our chemistry teacher of "Sodium is dangerous fame" and was very well liked by his students. It was so easy to get him distracted from the toils of trying to get us to understand atomic weights and chemical formulas. All it took was a mention of any sport and we would be off and running, ball, hockey, soccer it didn't matter he had opinions on them all and class time could be chewed up so quickly. Looking back I doubt if any of us suffered from having a better understanding of batting averages than being able to reel off a periodic table.

There was always something interesting going on when he was around. One day a group of workers were outside the school doing something with a big tub of something like whitewash only it wasn't white. They were using these big brooms and painting on the first level of the foundation around the school. A bunch of us were hanging around our room with the window open on the top floor and looking down at these guys. After a while the talk turned to dropping something into the big tub and splashing them. It was one of those ideas that takes root and someone from somewhere produced a balloon which was quickly filled with water. Now having the tools to rain destruction down on someone and actually doing are two diferent things. In the back of everyones head was the same thought, I wish someone would drop it on them, but it can't be me because of the "I could get in trouble factor". There was lots of trying to goad somone into doing it, a classic case of lots of chiefs but no indians.

We're all looking out the windows when suddenly a voice came from behind us " Whats so interesting out there" it was "Hoosh". he worked his way to a window and peered down on the unsuspecting group that was gathered around the big tub. "Give me that" he said and took the balloon. We all figured it was confiscated but couldn't see much trouble because after all, we had only been thinking about it. He leaned out the window and let it go, our jaws dropped, "I always wanted to do that" he said and turned and walked away.

One of our chemistry experiments was doing something with a Liebig Condenser. I don't remember doing many experiments in chemistry but I certainly remember this one. This big glass tube with hoses attached to it appeared one day and was set up at one end of the lab. I remember that fire from a bunsen burner was involved, maybe some charcoal, some kind of acid, water etc, I can't remember exactly. I recently looked it up on the Internet typed in "Liebig Condenser" and found that you can do many things with one of these things, you mix stuff, put it in a flask, attach the hoses and put in some rubber stoppers, heat it up and in most instances steam comes out an end and gets converted back to a liquid. Then I thought I wonder what comes up if I add the word "danger" to the search. And now I kind of understand why Virginia Yorks sweater disintegrated in front of our very eyes. She had the misfortune to be standing in front of the business end of this thing when the end blew off. It sprayed whatever was in it on the front of her nice new orlon sweater. I remember thinking, what a mess, there seemed to be little black spots all over the front on it and I thought I bet someone is going to be in trouble for this. Then it happened, the sweater started to disintegrate, it was very exciting for a few moments until a covering was found.

We had now learned our lesson "keep your distance" when Hoosh is in the lab. I wonder how many casualties he was responsible for over the years?