Las Vegas is a town of bottled water, not just because they’re hawking it on the street corners, but on general principles: the city takes things which should not be encapsulated — risk, chance, sex, scenery — packages them and sells them at exorbitant prices. I’m glad I’m out of it, except that on the way home, I was caught in a monsoon downpour which lasted almost exactly the duration of the walk from the T station to my front door. The next day, my trusty laptop developed an interesting new behavior: when I turned it on, it turned itself off. I suspect the containment around it failed, to use a Star Trek-ism, and its power supply had a delayed allergic reaction to the rainwater. It remains to be seen whether I can extract the data from its hard drive.

Fortunately, the so-called social circle in which I move is a giant geek support system.

While I try to get my act together, Maria Brumm has a couple good posts on the troubles mathphobia causes in a geology education. To an aspiring high-school science teacher, she writes,

While you might be able to find some undergrad geology programs that would let you get away without math beyond algebra, to do geology properly you will need at least trig, as there is lots of 3D geometry to think about. And this may be my bias as the alumna of a very mathy undergrad program working in a mathy subfield coming through, but honestly, I can’t imagine doing it without calculus (my undergrad degree was in geophysics, but even the geology majors at my school had to go through partial differential equations… that’s unusual, though). If you teach, I think you would be doing your students a disservice if mathphobia leads you to avoid linking in relevant concepts from their math classes.

Most geology is more or less an application of chemistry and physics to Earth and other planets, so you will need a background in at least one of those subjects as well. Since few high schools teach geology and even fewer include it in their core curriculum, you’re likely to be drafted into teaching one of the two, or some kind of basic intro physical science course, at some point in your career anyway.

Delicious content will flow again as I resolve my computer issues.

4 thoughts on “Woe”

  1. There’s really so little interesting in science that you can do without calculus. Certain areas of biology, maybe, but even then I think it will pop up at least tangentially in certain places.

    It’s somewhat amazing to me that we’ve got this extremely powerful and vitally important tool that we’ve had for something like three hundred years, yet we still graduate people from high school and even college who’ve never had to learn even it on even the most basic level. This is completely insane. I really don’t understand how anybody can think this is acceptable.

  2. I’ll be screwed if my laptop fails again, now that I’ve dropped out of uni. No geeks around to fix things for me.

    Yes, I regret my computer and programming phobia now.

  3. Duh. I do.

    But I won’t have anywhere to put that backup if Lazarus redies. I’s poor.

    (And I’ve long ago stopped working on him, so there isn’t much to lose – I don’t even have big pr0n collection.)

    Thank you, though.

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