Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Every semester a new beginning

One of the things I really enjoy about my job is that every January and August is a new beginning.  Tomorrow is the first day of classes.  I go in, face a fresh crop of students, all of whom have potential to be successful, and dive into the material.  Material that I find interesting and that's always changing.  This semester, I'm teaching classroom courses on historical geology (a lab course for science majors that covers the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth), solar system astronomy (which has a lot of geology), and an online weather & climate course for non-science majors.  Great stuff!

How can you not be interested in learning about the oxygenation of the early Earth's atmosphere or the fossil evidence for the evolution of tetrapods?  How can you not want to understand how geologists infer paleoenvironments from sedimentary rocks?  How can you not want to hear about the latest discoveries from the surface of Mars?  This is cool shit!

The only thing that somewhat ruins it for me are the small group of students who always begin each semester sitting there in class, even on the first day, looking bored.  Really?  I want to tell them to get the fuck out and go work at McDonalds if they have no intellectual curiosity.  College is truly wasted on some people!  If I was independently wealthy, I'd go back and study something else (maybe math because topics like number theory are awesomely cool).

It's nice to have a job one looks forward to going to each morning.

What does this rock tell us about the Earth two billion years ago?
Study Earth History and find out!


  1. Steve,

    I always enjoyed your classes when I was one of your students, and I enjoy reading your blog posts as well.