Things I learned…recently

It’s been a while since I have taken the time to sit down and write one of these blog posts.  It’s not that I haven’t learned anything, it’s just that I have a case of the lazies.

It happens.

So, what have I learned?

I learned…

…that field geology is not my thing.

This past semester I took a historical geology class to fulfill a science requirement.  It was an interesting class, challenging and time-consuming.  I learned a lot and that’s always a good thing.  The course was geared toward geology majors, and I was a little apprehensive about that at first, but my fear proved unfounded.

I rocked that class.

<see what I did there>

However, one of the things my professor required for course completion was a bit of field work.  He believes that he cannot allow his students to walk away from historical geology without at least one day in the field – mud covered rock hammer in one hand, chunk of fossil-filled platy limestone in the other.

Okay.  No big deal.  I can do that.  Dig around in the dirt for an afternoon, maybe find a fossil or two, identify an unconformity or a fault, take a strike-dip measurement.  Not my favorite things, but whatever.

I did a little research on the site where we were to do our field work.  It’s a place on the North Sulphur River known to contain Cretaceous period fossils.  According to a few maps, the site boasts a park of sorts with an outbuilding and concrete stairs leading down the steep river embankment.  Okay, no big deal.  I can do that.

The day of the excursion was rainy, a chance of severe weather loomed, but we went anyway.  We are geologist, a little thing like a tornado watch isn’t going to scare us – or so our professor told us.  The site was in the backwoods of nowhere, down an overgrown two lane farm to market road – and not where we thought it was.  There was no outbuilding, and there were no stairs, but there was a trail – or so our professor told us.

Now, I have to tell you, my professor is an older man – late sixties, almost seventy, but he is the most energetic person I’ve ever met.  If Indiana Jones were a geologist, he would be my professor.  He is also a dirty rotten liar.  There was no trail, only a runoff path that spilled down a sixty degree drop through overgrown brush and misshapen trees into the river bed thirty feet below.

Sixty degree drop; thirty feet below. 

Oh.  Did I mention it was raining?  Yeah, so the ground had turned to slick as snot clay mud.   You know that stuff, right?  It might as well have been a sheet of ice.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am not an outdoorsy person, and the whole scenario was so far out of my comfort zone, I felt like I might drown in my own anxiety.  That nagging voice of reason in my head was doing his best Lost in Space impression, “Danger, Will Robinson.  Danger.”  But I ignored him.  After all, I have expanded my horizons in recent years, ventured into uncharted territory, overcome a few of my more benign phobias.  I could do it.  

Right?

Right.  So, I took a deep breath, sat down on my butt and did the crab crawl –  inch by inch, down into that fucking river bed.   I spent two hours trudging through mud so thick it stuck the bottom of my shoes (I grew two inches) and caked the hem of my jeans.   I foraged for fossils, took a strike-dip measurement, almost dropped my compass into a mud puddle, and suffered the indignity of a really bad hair day.

Then I clawed my way back out, up thirty feet (at a staggering sixty degree incline) inch by fucking agonizing inch.

Success!

And it only took three weeks for all the cuts and bruises to heal.  Bonus.

The experience ranks right up there with whale watching from an inflatable raft in the middle of the churning Pacific.  I’m proud of myself for doing it, but I will never, ever do it again.  Ever.

…that one of my new favorite things to do is sit in a bookstore coffee shop with my daughter sipping a cold frappy, nibbling a calorie heavy treat, and reading a good book.

…that sometimes blog spam is amusing.  I normally don’t pay much attention to it – just hit the delete button and move on.  But today I found this attached to one of my reading challenge entries:

Thats just because youre still mad at him for winning the starting RF job over your man-crush last April.

It’s like I’m in a fight with someone and I didn’t even know it.  Such drama.

…that the 10 hour drive to South Padre Island is so much more fun than the 11 hour drive home.

…that we have entered that point in tennis season where I am again forced to question my long-standing Federer allegiance.  I can forgive a loss at the Australian Open to Murray, but a loss on clay to Tsonga in the quarterfinals?  I’m at the breaking point…seriously.  If Federer doesn’t step up on the grass in London, I’m out.  I mean it.  For real this time.

that there is a Great White shark lurking just off the coast of Cape Cod.    Note to self:  no beach excursions during future trips north to visit my Boston peeps.

…that there is an Atlantic Green sea turtle named Allison at Sea Turtle, Inc. on South Padre Island with a prosthetic flipper (think boat rudder, only for a turtle) to help her swim.  Go read about her – and all of the good work this amazing organization does – (here).

…that I will take a Stats class over Art Appreciation any day of the week.   I had two objectives going into this summer – knock out a couple of required courses I have put off because I know they will suck and get a tan.  Well, it’s only a few weeks in and I’ve already failed.  No, my tan looks great, but I seem to have hit a hurdle with that other thing.  It turns out I’d rather jab a stick into my eye than sit through 10 weeks of art appreciation, and its endless string of mindless “art” projects and presentations.  I couldn’t drop it fast enough.  Of course, now I have to take an extra class in the fall to make up for it, but I think art history will suit me much better.  I sure hope so.  On a side note, Stats is going to work out just fine.  Who’d have thought?

…and last but not least, this week’s awww moment is brought to you by my sweet daughter and her band awards.  I’m not proud or anything…

Red and Howling

Cartoons about dogs, cats & other animal friends

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Rebecca Bradley

Murder Down To A Tea

Steph Broadribb

the blog of mystery writer Steph Broadribb & Stephanie Marland

The Colony, Texas

City by the Lake

TCPL News Flash

Just another WordPress.com site

thoughts and entanglements

A collective of poems and photos. All photos taken by me unless stated otherwise.

Darkroomstory

Photography by Manos,

Wordsmith Six

Six writers who love words and who read, write and critique together.

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Ravenspen

My journey as a writer and my various hobby's .

Saphir Drachen - Writer

The Insanity of Fantasy

Random Acts of Writing

and other tidbits of thought

SM4 Writers

from Advanced Social/Media Services

Pride in Photos

Beauty.Inspiration.Lifestyle.

the hour of soft light...

How do I know what I think until I see what I say? (E.M. Forster)

Top 10 of Anything and Everything

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

Imagineer-ing

an adventure in reading, writing & publishing

Beau Barnett's blog

Random musings from a smart-aleck Jesus-loving sports obsessed wannabe writer.

Women People

Rants About Life/Art/Things

weaklyshortstories

Just another WordPress.com site

To Be Aware

It's all about disbelieving your thoughts

Bill Chance

This is Not Going to Turn Out Well

jmmcdowell

An archaeologist finds herself writing fiction — what stories will she unearth?

The Courage 2 Create

This is the story of me writing my first novel...and how life keeps getting in the way.

The Artist's Road

Patrick Ross on Creativity, Writing, and an Art-Committed Life

theintrinsicwriter

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Pete Denton

Writer of British Crime Fiction

Bundle of Books

Thoughts from a bookworm

Rewriting Amanda

A blog about Writing, Reading, and Reinventing your Life

The Absent Historian

Engrossed in books and study.

You're a Writer!

Ideas and encouragement for writers.

Rebecca Guevara, A voice of occasional reason.

Irma Prattle, who has a high rise condo behind my ear, pokes me to write, and when I’m finished she says, “Now, doesn’t that feel better?” My answer: “Yes and no.” I think she wants to be me.

cresting the words

surfing the ocean of language

The Sugarlump

A collection of the sweet morsels in my life

mikeosbornphoto

One man and his camera

cafethreezero

Just another WordPress.com site

New Author Publishing

Experience with me the trials and accomplishments of publishing a novel

%d bloggers like this: