Back in College (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 10 Feb 2005

Back in College

I'm back in college, after [mumble] years away. What fun!

I'm taking Field Geology, something I've wanted to take for years. I've been reading geology books for years, but there's a wide abyss between reading about limestone and olivine, and being able to identify random rocks in any location we hike.

So far, two weeks in, the class is great. The instructor is enthusiastic and interesting. Most of the students are geology fans like me, taking the course out of fascination for the subject. (Not all kids, either; several are returning students, like me. Is that a euphemism? Hey, Akkana, why don't you just say "old farts"?) Yesterday's lab was "Here's a box of sedimentary rocks, here's a bottle of acid, identify the rocks." Fun! I can hardly wait for the field trips. (Dave: How was your class? Me: We dropped acid! Dave: Really? Is it too late to sign up? Me: On the rocks.)

I brought in a rock collected from our last Utah trip, from the plateau rising out of the eastern edge of the Bonneville salt flats. Dave and I both guessed it was limestone. With the HCl it fizzed like mad. Cool -- we were right!

One minor amusement about being back in college: a lot of students now eschew the traditional backpack in favor of rolling luggage. Walking around campus you hear these rummmmmblings that sound like an onrushing skateboard, and it turns out to be some kid plodding along with luggage in tow. Well, maybe they have bad backs.

That was yesterday. Good things that happened today: I won our Toastmasters club table topics competition, so I get to compete at the next level. Also I posted lesson 3 in the gimp course (a fun one, making a Valentine's day card) and finished my planet column on Iapetus. Bad things: more Iapetus diagrams to make, and when I got home I discovered I had a slight fever. I feel better now, so maybe it won't turn into anything.

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[ 21:29 Feb 10, 2005    More education | permalink to this entry ]