From time to time I get requests for a study guide to help with an upcoming exam.

As a way to possibly help fill this need, I offer the following poem,

submitted by Kendra Curtis (2009/10).





In the way, way back,

Yeah, one-oh-one,

You tried to teach us

About the sun.

How atoms bounce

and hop around,

That space is time

And light's faster than sound.

The Big Bang theory

and Physics too,

It was waaaay over my head

Let me tell you!

Our first lab, to

fashion a line,

Encompassing ALL of

Geologic Time!

Then onto the plates

there’s about a dozen,

That cruise around

on a convection oven.

That they move

there is no doubt,

That’s what earthquakes

are all about.

Richter and his

crazy scale,

Exponentially growing

as the rocks start to fail.

Elastic strain

like a rubber band,

Eventually gives and

shakes the land.

You opened for me

a reluctant door,

To the reality of what

lies just off our shore!

Yes, the Cascadia

and long over due!

There won’t be much left

when that baby is through.

That first awful test

brought us to the brink,

As we got our first taste

of just how you think!

Then off on a field trip

to Selma no less,

To look at float and

the earth under stress.

An ophiolite? What the

heck is that?

And Mike just a’ smilin’

like a Cheshire cat.

That he had a secret

and was burstin’ to tell,

Was how all this red dirt

Came straight up from hell!

Ultra mafic and

weathered from stone,

That had somehow escaped

a sub-duction zone!

Then on to minerals

and rocks,

Identifications with the

answers on the box!

But, who ever peeked

I know it cost her,

Because, as you know,

cheaters never prosper!

Most of the minerals

we learned to tell,

By sight, by feel and

some by smell!

The rocks were harder

just bear and grin it,

Make up a name if you don’t

know what’s in it!

Streak and cleavage

no not that kind!

What do you got?

A dirty mind?

They are terms for tests

in which you may,

ID the crystals

in a mineral tray!

You brought cool rocks

for our inspection,

From your awesome

home collection

Extra credit and

fun to share,

Go on, take a stab

What is that in there?!


blood of the earth,

Places where the

mantle gives birth.

Mafic; great big

leaks in gloom,

Felsic one’s though

go KaBOOM!

Then winter break

a brief respite,

with nothin’ to do

on a Monday night.

Come January 4th

a quick review

of one-oh-one

in an hour or two.

Most of us giddy

and wanting to shout,

Cause we knew what the hell

you were talkin’ about!

We learned about maps


To find our way in the woods

though not through the traffic.

Contour intervals


Locating bench marks

and elevation.

Relief and gradient

scouting a path,

By using our noggins

and a bit of math.

Then head long we ran

towards sedimentary,

Layers in time

pretty elementary.

Piling up, like the

leaves in a book,

And easy to read

if you know where to look.

This will be on the test!

you were quite emphatic

What is the pressure?

it’s Lithostatic!!

Then down we went

towards the heat,

Where the brittle and ductile

transitions meet.

There in the deep

the layers will fold,

and remain that way,

for us to behold.

From limestone to marble

and phyllite to schist,

To study the texture

to see what was missed.

Another test down

we were half way through,

That mysterious quarter

called one-oh-two!

Immersed in the weather

for a week or so,

We learned about watersheds

and flood control.

The dew point and clouds

tornadoes and such,

The Coriolis effect, it was

all just too much!

The weather, its been

here since the beginning,

And the water itself?

It’s always winning-!!

Our planet has scars

because of erosion,

As everything moves

down hill to the ocean!

Permeability and porosity

Or how water moves through,

the rocks in the ground

called aquifers! It’s True!

The Love Canal forum,

what a lively debate,

Who’s fault was it really?

And is it too late?

For us to reverse

years of waste?

We’ve all seen the future

That WAS just a taste.

Thus ended the winter

on a slightly sad note

Though we now realize

we’re all in the same boat!

Then a week to ourselves

yet all eager to see,

What would come next

in one-oh-three!

And those who returned

and took up their places,

Looked at a room full

of new faces.

Roll call and rules

another review,

A lot to take in for

those who were new!

We started with glaciers

and ton’s of neat pix,

Learning that separate

flows do not mix,

Moraines and tarns,

cirques and till,

It’s a monster fer shur

and eats its fill!

Rafting erratics

without hesitation,

As it flows AWAY from the

zone of accumulation!

A land can be arid

if hot or cold,

It’s a lack of moisture

if you must be told.

We learned of places

far and near,

Where water’s scarce and

the land is sere.

Latitude and over


Arid lands are

quite amazing!

Then off we sailed towards

Mike’s bread and butter,

economic Geology

with G O Man at the rudder.

Magnesium balls,

chromium lodes,

Mining practices and

their modes.

Copper, silver, platinum


Metals all, heavy and


All the easy stuffs

been found,

Now we have to

dig deep in the ground.

Or drill off shore

and frack the wells,

Tuning out the

warning bells.

Pump it faster -

keep those tanks fed

What environmental disaster?B.P.,

‘nuff said.

A circuitous route

we traveled then,

Back into our history,

of the how and when.

With faith in those whom

had gone before,

And thought about life

as never before.

The science of evolution

and pal-eon-tology,

Learning new words like

complex morphology.

Evidence of life

one of the hardest labs,

Trying to trace lines from

algae to crabs!

It’s all so subjective

this searching for clues,

To link separate species

like oak trees to yews.

And how did the land

come to be?

How did the water appear

in the sea?

Did our planet get slammed by

a snock ball from space?

How did it happen and

leave nary a trace?

Did it bring DNA

or did God plant us here?

I take it all in good faith,

and yet hold science dear.

I think we’re all sad

those of us who,

Spent the last exciting

nine months with you.

I, myself will miss Barnaby

stuck in the white cliffs of Dover,

I don’t know about you -

but I’m sad that it’s over.

And while flickers of knowledge

continue to inspire,

We’re all thankful to you

for lighting the fire!


You are GeoManiac number since April 1, 1997