Small things can have big impacts


By Cierra Mullennix

The addition of baking soda to a bowl of vinegar will create a violent foaming. A drop of bleach on a dark fabric will create a giant discoloration. A small amount of copper chloride will change the color of a flame from orange to blue. In science, small things can make a big impact. Life is a science. Small moments in life can have a big impact too.

My siblings and I would spend a lot of time at our Nana’s house. She watches crime shows – exclusively. She typically watches “NCIS” now, but she used to watch “Monk” and “Psyche” until they switched to a different network. I spent a lot of time at Nana’s which means that I basically grew up watching “Monk” and “Psyche.” It is captivating to watch someone commit the most heinous acts. It’s unfathomable. These completely fictitious shows became repetitive and my siblings and I could predict the killer in each episode, which was always amusing. After a while we could tell that the quiet, reserved neighbor who barely had any news to share was surely guilty of the crime in the end. I was fascinated by the way detectives used phone records, DNA results, and security cameras to build a case. While I loved watching these shows when I went over to my Nana’s, when I mentioned them to my friends – they had no clue what I was talking about. It astounded me! It was so popular in my family that I never even considered that others had no frame of reference for the shows I was always talking about.

As I get ready to make the transition from high school to college I realize that the small practice of watching the shows at my Nana’s house had a big impact on the direction of my future. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on a future as a criminal, but rather I plan to pursue a career in forensic science. I have always loved to analyze things. I love puzzles. I want to be a Forensic DNA Analyst. DNA is another small thing that can have a big impact. Often DNA will help tell the story of a crime scene that can’t be seen with the naked eye. I have always wanted to help others, and I feel analyzing DNA to better understand the story it can tell will surely help bring justice to others and for others. Who would have thought that afternoons at Nana’s watching crime dramas would help me navigate a career path? All these years later the lesson that will stick with me is that no matter how small, we never know what might have an impact on us in the future. Like baking soda in a bowl of vinegar or DNA particles on a single strand of hair, small things can have a big impact.

Cierra Mullennix is a senior at Sidney High School. She is the daughter of Christine and Chad Mullennix, and stepdaughter of Jason Hull. She plans on attending Bowling Green State University in the fall to major in Forensic Examination. This summer she plans to volunteer as a camp counselor and attend Tar Hollow Christian Adventure Camp.

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