Last time I took a lab science, it was the Chemistry class I took my senior year in high school. That was ten years ago. I intended to take Chemistry again as my required lab science, but the classes were full, and I was not interested in being put on a waiting list. I am not sure how the VA handles those. So, I looked at the list of options and selected Geology. It sounded a little interesting and I do not think I will have to dissect anything. That is one thing I disliked about Biology. And not because we were cutting open a dead animal. The smell. Yuck.
Today was the first lab assignment in my Geology class. Our materials: rolls of paper from an adding machine, meter sticks, and pencils. Each meter represented a billion years. With that in mind, we were told to arrange ourselves in groups of no more than five and map out a rough timeline of the history of the Earth. We had a list of events we were to map out. It was fairly straight forward. We measured out five meters of paper, stretched it over four desks, and went to work. It took my group maybe 15-20 minutes. The closest event we could effectively measure with the materials we had was about 1.8 million years ago, when the oldest evidence of humonoids was found, or something like that. Why? Because by our measurements, 1 millimeter represented 1 million years, and we could not measure any of the other events on that list without going to a smaller measurement, which was not going to happen with what we had.
My group was the second done. I thought it was fairly straight forward, as did the rest of my group. Apparently, two other groups over thought the assignment or got confused. I am not sure which, but they took significantly longer than we did. I was glad when the instructor decided to move along with the class discussion and let one group finish later.
So, class was a little longer today than it has been, but it was interesting and I got to interact with some of my new classmates. All is well.