School continues to be really really interesting this semester! In biology, we've gone over really basic stuff; chemistry, carbon, water, the cell, metabolism. I got my first test back and I got a 98, which confirmed that my method of studying is working. I was afraid I was going about it all wrong because I've never really taken a science course where most of the information had to be memorized. Of course, I have found out that it isn't all just memorization - things fit together in a way that makes sense. It's more like learning a new language when you don't know the words but understand how the sentences are structured.
Geology has been great. After the first lab where we went to the beach and measured sand ripples and grain size, we went to a gorge and made a profile of the river by wading waist-deep in the water and using electronic flowmeters to measure the velocity of the currents at the top and bottom of the river in 2-foot intervals. Using the data, we calculated the river's discharge and also calculated the recurrence interval of a flood of that discharge's magnitude. Very fun.
Last night, in the rain, we hiked out to an ancient tidal flat (Cambrian) and measured ripple marks, grain size and bed thickness. We used dilute HCl to determine what kind of rocks were present (Dolostone!). We also looked at some mud cracks and trace fossils. Using our data, we're supposed to determine what kind of sedimentary environment the sediments were laid down in.
My first geology test was yesterday. I didn't do as well as I hoped ( I think...haven't gotten it back yet), though I've been studying an insane amount. Part of the test we did in class, which counts for 75% of the grade. The other 25% comes from the same test, which we took home and can complete with the help of the book and/or friends/TA's/whoever. I'm pretty frustrated with it. The questions I know I got wrong/was unsure about during the in-class portion are not easily answered with the help of the book or a TA. In fact, I have been unable to answer one question at all, even after talking to my TA and consulting the textbook and searching online.
Anyway, the annual meeting is coming up and I'm really excited. I've got to buckle down a lot and get my homework done before that week, so I don't fall behind. It's going to be hard, though, because the weekend before, I'll be in Connecticut for my cousin's wedding. And that Sunday, I'll be meeting up with Julia and Paul for some Ben and Jerry's ice cream!
Speaking of weddings, J and I went to my best friend Jayme's wedding this past weekend. It was a blast! Here are some photos: