American Writer, Photographer, and Website Designer. Former career Fire and EMS Lieutenant. She/Her/Lesbian.

I Am An Only Child Of An Atomic Engineer


Often times people wonder why I know so many seemingly obscure and unknown things, and my answer remains the same; I am an only child of an atomic engineer.

My father taught me everything I knew about science.  He knew more about science and engineering than anyone else I knew, and to this day, I still have yet to find someone who knows as much as he did.  One of my most favorite memories was watching my father tell one of my high school science teachers that he was wrong, and even went so far as to present evidence to prove his point.

thomas slatin - high school science fair

Having a scientist father was both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I was frequently called upon to assist science teachers while I was still just a student in high school.  A curse because those same teachers who called upon me as their assistant also expected much more from me than any of the other students.

When it came to my 6th grade high school science fair, the fact that I am the only child of an atomic engineer meant that my project would be judged and graded under more scrutiny.  While other classmates worked on science fair projects such as air pressure demonstrations with pipes and gauges, the classic erupting volcano which uses baking soda and vinegar, and of course, simple electrical circuits with knife switches, I put together a scale model of a nuclear reactor!  The model was complete in every way with moving parts, in gory detail, right down to the control rods and reactor material, of which substituted aluminum tubing for plutonium.

My science fair project was epic, though the only ones who found it interesting, aside from my teacher at the time, was fellow faculty members at the school.

All things considered, I was given a B+ for the project, but the epic project itself more than paid off for a less-than-perfect A.

(This is one more example of how I am an uberdork.)

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