Creative Solutions

Human beings have a creative side that tends to shine most when we are truly invested in the world around us. Describe a situation when you responded effectively to a particular need and found yourself at your creative best


With all the commotion I heard, I thought someone had set a batch of chocolate chip cookies on fire again. But the world of a high school dorm is seldom that predictable. No, nothing was burning. The sophomore girls running into my room sweated and teared and gasped not out of reaction to some current catastrophe, but rather out of fearful anticipation for tomorrow’s polyatomic ions quiz.

The polyatomic ions quiz is completely tantalizing, so I understood how they felt; what I didn’t understand was how to help. I had completed two years of chemistry, so the extended list of polyatomic ions could easily be recited in my sleep. And from what I best remember, the way I learned was straight memorization.

But looking around, that’s not something I could tell them. They expected me to have an answer, so I started creating one. I sat them down in a little semi circle on my carpet, grabbed a notebook and a sharpie, and started writing. Then I stopped. They didn’t like numbers. At the moment, they didn’t really like science either. The best thing I could do for them right then was to turn something hated and unfamiliar into something they knew and loved. Sophomore girls love drama. So I started telling stories.

I started with “Clo,” a...

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