Chemistry: A Recipe For Love

Chemistry class isn’t always about science



This couple never thought chemestry would bring them together

ANNA MICHALSON, Evergreen reporter

When Laura O’brian stepped into her first Chemistry 105 class in the fall semester of 1988, she was unaware of the lessons in chemistry she would learn, both in academia and in love.  

“I walked into my chem class, and there were about 25 people in my lab section. I had struck up a conversation with a boy because he was wearing a fraternity shirt, and it was the same fraternity that my father had belonged to,” she said. 

It was easy to speak to him, because she said they already had many areas of shared interests, and were both involved in Greek life. 

Laura and this man, who she would later know as Shawn, spent the first several weeks of class sitting together, and would eventually become lab partners. 

“They wanted us to pair up to do some experiments, and there was another guy who had been pretty chatty with me, and I was not attracted to him at all,” Laura said. “Before he could say something to me, like ‘should we be lab partners’, I turned to Shawn and asked him to try and save myself.” 

After late-night labs, Shawn would walk Laura back to Wilmer-Davis Hall on his way to his fraternity, Farmhouse. Laura said like herself, Shawn was a steadfast basketball fan, and they would often see each other in passing at many of the games during the season. 

“It’s kind of a hokey, but there was just a lot of chemistry there all along,” she said. 

Weeks turned into months, and Laura and Shawn officially began dating the following spring semester of 1989. 

“It was kind of dumb because you go your separate ways for the summer, but we had a few visits, and a few long-distance phone calls after 10 p.m. when the rates were cheap,” Laura said. 

Upon returning to school, Shawn and Laura spent much of their time together, enjoying Coug sports games, and mingling with their mutual fraternity and sorority friends. Laura said they fell into a natural relationship, that lasted throughout their college years together. 

Just before graduation in March of 1992, Laura said Shawn proposed to her, as she set off to finish her final year of Pharmacy school in Spokane. 

“I had been down in San Francisco over the spring break, and I had brought her a gift back and just proposed with my mother’s ring inside of it,” Shawn said. 

Shawn and Laura now have three children, the oldest being a WSU alum, and the youngest being a freshman here. Laura said her and Shawn have had season football tickets for years, and recently flew over to Wisconsin for a spectacular game. 

This family of five is living proof that chemistry class can change your life in more ways than one.