The lesson of super cold water

This post was written by admin on August 11, 2009
Posted Under: teaching stories,true story

This is a true story:

Last night I wanted to cool a bottle of water quickly and placed it in the freezer section of refrigerator. I was tired and went to bed forgetting about the water. I woke up this morning and remembered the water bottle. I rushed to the fridge and was surprised to notice that the water had not frozen.

I thought that the freezer temperature was too high and I would have to lower it. Anyway, I took the water bottle out to put in the normal section of the fridge. By the time I moved the water bottle down the water had crystallized (become ice).

I remembered my high school chemistry (actually my B.S. is in chemistry but this was something I had learned at high school) and super saturated solutions which do not crystallized until an appropriate event crystallizes the solution. This event can be the introduction of a crystal seed, or a mechanical shock.

In the case of the super cold water the movement of the water was enough to crystallize it into its solid phase (ice). Enough chemistry and now for the lesson in this:

"How often are you ready for a major change and yet nothing happens?"

Often we are like that bottle of super cold water or super saturated solution waiting for a "seeding event" to change for the better. I don’t know exactly how to cause such seeding events – it’s different for different situation. Some of the following may help to take you from where you are to where you need be:

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