A Shocking Mistake

Sarah - Bridgeton, Missouri
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Nobody is perfect, but people generally improve over time. I believe that every person has the ability to learn from their mistakes. I also think the amount of learning depends on the impact of the mistake made. One day after school, in my sophomore year, I began making soup. After carefully allowing the seasoned liquid, thick spiraled noodles, and precisely cut portions of poultry plunge into the bottom of my old black pot, I heard a faint beeping. The distant sound found its way back to my ears over and over again. Like any other preoccupied teenager, I tried to ignore it. However, the aggravating noise started to make my head pulse. Like a hunting dog, I tracked down the incessant beeping. It carried me down the stairs, past my sofa, and into my bedroom, where I finally had it trapped. I found my smoke detector beeping and flashing at me as if it were welcoming me home. I hoisted myself onto a nearby chair and opened the small contraption after it annoyingly beeped yet again. I gently grasped and removed the black and brown Duracell battery from its snug position. After a swift glimpsed, I noticed two little prongs on its side and a rush of memories hit me. I was thinking of younger years, when my older brother had jokingly taught me how to check a battery’s power. He had said that if I placed my tongue on both prongs, I would be able to experience the charge. I gave the Duracell label one quick glance, shrugged, and lightly touched the metal circles to my tongue. This ultimately created a light tickle along the inside of my mouth. As I pulled it away, I absently wondered why only the moist muscle in my mouth could feel the pulse of the battery. I licked my finger and tapped it to the metal but felt nothing. Then I tried my arm, but received the same result. I soon came to the conclusion that perhaps only a chemical that existed in my mouth would respond to the battery. I lightly tapped the silver prongs to my teeth and braces, only to be thwarted yet again. Angrily, I put the battery to my tongue again and, unfortunately, also to one of my metal brackets. Suddenly a violent shock raced though my head and I pulled the battery away. Out of surprise and rage, I threw it to the floor and rubbed my head as I looked at the black and brown Duracell label. I silently began laughing at myself in embarrassment and thought, “Well I am never doing that again.” To this day, I remember that event. Though I think the impact of mistake determines the lesson learned, I also believe that any person can learn from their mistakes.