Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

@helenasrox yesterday made a comment about how it was time for geology-related pumpkin carving.   Several years ago, I attended a pumpkin carving party, where I managed to construct a subduction zone on the side of my pumpkin.   Unfortunately, no one is admitting to having pictures (and this was before I had my small camera in my purse at all times).   I commented back & got asked where / why I decided to decorate items with a convergent margin.

While I was at UIowa for my PhD, I TAd for Petrology several years.   During the igneous portion of the class, Tom Foster would go over the various ways that melt is formed & modified at convergent margins.   It would then appear on the 1st midterm exam as an essay / drawing and the students would struggle with the question.   Because of the struggle, it would appear again on the 2nd midterm.   And even though the students knew it was coming (we warned them!), usually >50% of the class would still miss full-credit on the question, so it would make one more appearance on the final.   By the time I went out to Goldschmidt in Idaho in 2004, I had drawn a convergent margin along with the melt processes so often, it was getting to be second nature.   At Goldschmidt, I roomed with several other grad students, all of whom happened to be igneous petrologists.   In the middle of Goldschmidt there was the day free from talks & posters.   The option was to go on the expensive rafting / BBQ trip or go off on your own–we chose the latter and drove up to Coeur d’Alene.   Because it was the end of May, tourists were far & few between around the lake and it was easy for us to get a table at the Italian restaurant.   It was a local place and had the butcher paper on the table along with a tub of crayons.   And we had to wait for our food a bit.   While waiting, we ended up having a discussion about Tom’s melting question and I drew it out on the paper.   But by the end of the meal we had covered the entire piece of butcher paper with all of the tectonic settings that our various rocks came from (subduction zones, hotspots, mid-ocean ridges).   Unfortunately, though I took a picture of the wine bottle on the table, the drawing didn’t get photographed.

wine bottle (and part of the drawing!) in Coeur d'Alaine

Somehow, though, that drawing just cemented in my mind so that whenever I had to draw something, a subduction zone is going to appear.   It happened on the unpictured pumpkin.   Later that same year, I was at a baby shower for another professor in the department and it ended up on a onsie.   Several years later while chatting with that professor at NEGSA, I discovered that that onsie had been a favorite of the family, but they didn’t know who drew it 🙂   (Also no pictures taken… I think I need to take more pictures in the future!)

And, just in case you were wondering, I also ask my petrology students the exact same essay / drawing question 🙂   So, I’m not posting the answer up here where they can find it!


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