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The Mind and Music of Me

College Bucket List #4: Find Out What Aspirin Is Made Of

Name of insensitive substitute teacher has been changed to protect her guilt on the interwebz

First grade. I open my mouth and breath out a question to which I still do not know the answer.

“What is aspirin made of, Mrs. Burban?”

A few giggles and a “Paige, don’t be silly” later, I still didn’t comprehend the error in my curiosity. Mrs. Burban was a substitute, bless her heart, but she really didn’t handle the situation to my liking. My question was dead serious. I wanted to know what aspirin consisted of. My six-year-old brain, pre-question, had been vividly imagining smaller and smaller divisions within the medicine that must exist to make the whole. But alas, no further investigation was ever attempted. Shut down.

At the time, I began to figure that everyone must know what aspirin is made of. How could I not know? Aspirin is made of aspirin. What a ridiculous question. How dare I. But what I realize now is that hardly anyone actually knows the answer. To them, it just is. It’s accepted as a cure for ailments, and few people care to delve into the specifics. But the specifics, in my eyes, are where the magic lies. The inner workings that make aspirin aspirin matter to me. I need to know. And after all these years, I still don’t know the answer to a question I asked in elementary school. Unacceptable. The time is now. Get ready, you’re about to be schooled.

According to a semi-sketchy-but-reputable-enough source:

“…the aspirin production process varies between pharmaceutical companies, dosage forms and amounts, (but) the process is not as complex as the process for many other drugs. In particular, the production of hard aspirin tablets requires only four ingredients: the active ingredient (acetylsalicylic acid), corn starch, water, and a lubricant.”

Really Mrs. Burban? Four ingredients? Was that so hard? I mean really.

I am tempted to go molecular, but will spare the chemistry lecture. However here is the molecular make-up for our visual learners:


And yet another, for good measure:


Okay that will do.

What is most meaningful to me in my search for pharmaceutical knowledge is certainly not my newfound ability to start my own drug company. What it really means is that I will no longer simply accept knowledge, or anything else for that matter, based strictly on surface value. I believe that there are answers to questions. And that there are many questions in life that need to be asked, but rarely are. No, aspirin is never just aspirin. There is something more, and it deserves to be discovered. And I will be the kind of person that asks those questions and discovers their answers.

Okay. After all this deep philosophical talk, I’m needing an aspirin more than ever.


2 comments on “College Bucket List #4: Find Out What Aspirin Is Made Of

  1. Savannah
    October 17, 2009

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

    • Paige
      November 2, 2009

      Thanks! You should start your own blog…it’s fun 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 8, 2009 by in College Bucket List.
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