1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Posted by Jessica Ball

Resolutions for geologists is the theme of the day. My personal resolutions usually tend toward the usual – get in better shape, finish working on some project I’ve been letting languish on my desk, acquire a totally gorgeous boyfriend who can appreciate the wonders of a really great outcrop of columnar basalt… (Okay, that one I made up, although it would certainly be nice.)

But this time I thought I’d take a stab at some resolutions one might see on a geologist’s list (or at least some potential ones of mine, based on amusing and not-so-amusing life experiences). So, here goes:

  • I will not succumb to apoplexy when approached and “corrected” by Flat Earthers, Creationists, IDers, Young Earth proponents, and followers of L. Ron Hubbard.

  • I will not insist that we drive really slow or make u-turns (illegal or otherwise) whenever I see a really cool roadcut.

  • I will only make the suggestion “Why don’t you lick it?” in the appropriate setting and in the presence of other geologists.

  • I will recognize that having a grain size identification card in my wallet does, in fact, make me a geek.

  • I will attempt to avoid a steady stream of snarky geologist commentary when watching The Core, Dante’s Peak, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Jurassic Park, or Deep Impact. (The second two Jurassic Park movies and anything made or aired by the SCIFI channel is fair game.)

  • I will remove the rocks from my handbags or, failing that, stop trying to claim that they are “crime prevention devices”.

  • I will not become angry when airport security thinks that the muddy boots / rock hammer / crack hammer / fossil chipper / twenty pounds of andesite / mapping clipboards / heavy-duty gloves / tent stakes / souvenir benchmark / GPS receiver / power tools are signs that I am dangerous / a graduate of a terrorist training camp / attempting to smuggle radioactive material between states / going to gouge a hole in the plane. (All of these have given me problems at one time or another. No, most of them weren’t in my carry-on luggage. Frankly, I’m surprised the TSA hasn’t blacklisted me yet.)

  • I will not drag my friends into the rock shop directly adjacent to the exit of the large cave we have been visiting for several hours.

  • I will remember that not everyone appreciates the joys of initiating a mass wasting event upon discovering large rocks at the top of a cliff.

  • I will get into graduate school, become part of a wonderful volcanology program, travel the world, write an award-winning popular science book and spend the rest of my life chasing down violent eruptions and spreading the good word about volcanic hazards. (Oops…a serious one!)

Best wishes in the new year!