April 2, 2009 § 2 Comments
Geologists are intriguing creatures. Do you remember that crazy-cool science teacher in high school? Maybe he or she blew up stuff, somehow ended up overstimulated by speed vs. velocity, tripped over his or her feet carrying a live moldy experiment, cleverly erected a ChemisTREE around the holidays, or ate chalk? Multiply that by the size of the geology department and you’ve got .. uh.. my department.
When you sign up for a geology major, nobody tells you how integral field trips will be to your education. No warning. I opted out of my first geology class field trip (a 3-day death jaunt in the mosquito- and tick-infested woodlands of Missouri which I later had to make up) because I thought it was weird to sleep in tents with people I didn’t know. I would happily wield my pen (err.. computer keyboard) to craft a paper instead. I later switched into geology and forgot about this opt-out I had made and how it was mandatory for majors.
These adventures (see future posts.. oh my, the stories) weed out the tight-wad nature-haters. You are left with a colorful bunch and several amusing stories, properly lubricated with alcohol (“ice! we need ice!” quoteth Marcie).
I was going to tell a story about how dry erase markers lead mysteriously short lives in the department, but I realized it’s one of those “you had to be there” or “you had to have known so-and-so”.
(I know you’re curious: all lectures are held in the same room with a whiteboard. Long-winded professors leave the caps off as they gesture wildly with their arms about continental crust and, without fail, draw with the tips up, draining the fluid, and making them seem dead when they’re really just hibernating. *Thunk* goes another marker in the metal garbage can. Today we received an email of “we seem to go through dry erase markers quickly – why is that? do we need to switch brands?”)
Instead I will give you a glimpse of my love-hate relationship with field trips. This example is from Bonanza Ridge near Park City, Utah.
Oh good morning! It is a lovely day today to go for a stroll. Oh look! So pretty! How fun that we get to hike 10 minutes at a 45 degree angle (100% grade, babe) to get here. But look! It’s gorgeous! Your legs don’t hurt that much, ya sissy.
No, this is not ours, BUT LOOK WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO US!
Lovely! How scenic! Wait, we have to map from where to WHERE? Three days. As far as the eye can see (except for that silly horizon part) plus double the length for the width (and significant topographic relief). There are only 4,065 different dike outcrops to map as well.
I have nothing mean to say about these flowers because they were just minding their own business and made for a decent picture, but GRR.
If only we had gotten the hint: