The assignment: "Choose a realistic event and describe it romantically."

(Note from 1997: If I were writing the story today, the passive voice would be avoided by me. :-)

The Experiment

by Dave Lyons (10th grade? 1983?)

(This story is mostly fictitious, but, in order to protect his identity, Mr. Hall's name has been changed.

It was only 8:15 in the morning, but excitement was already building in anticipation of The Experiment. Everyone in 1st hour physics was psyched up and ready. There was a delay, but finally Mr. Hallston began methodically preparing for The Experiment.

He cautiously rolled out an impressive laboratory cart piled high with majestic towers of weights and timers and small rolling carts. Then he disappeared behind the door. There was an awed hush as we wondered what he would be holding when he reappeared.

We waited, and he reappeared with the crucial scale that would give the whole Experiment meaning. Excitement was still mounting as he actually placed a small cart onto the scale and proceeded to determine its weight. This was accomplished, and a strange silence overtook the class as Mr. Hallston placed several weights on a string which drooped over the edge of the table as we anticipated that he was about to speak. We were right.

He faced the class, paused, and then said, slowly, "We're Ready." Cheers were heard as he pressed the Reset button on the precision electronic timer and released the cart. IT MOVED! IT STOPPED! He read the number from the timer and announced it to the eager class. This was repeated four more times, and then, with the class cheeringhim on, Mr. Hallston removed one of the weights from the cart.

Five more trials were recorded, and again, and again. Data was accumulating on the chalkboard, and finally, after almost-frantic button-pushing and graph-sketching, we sensed that he was ready to announce the conclusion of The Experiment. Some of us held our proverbial breath as we awaited the announcement.

Another awed hush seized the room as he faced the class again to announce the result. Time itself seemed to slow down as we heard these words that many of us will remember as long as we live: "Acceleration... is... directly... proportional... to... force!" Suddenly a rush of overwhelming, thunderous applause was heard and felt. The Experiment was a success!

Everyone had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment as the bell rang and we filed out of the room, still awed by the final conclusion of The Experiment.