A quick note.
I posted on the 18th about Clarks death. This prompted me to pick up a book I had sitting around for months unread. Not a Clark peace, I do not have any of his works on me but something he likely would have approved of. Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.
I have learned perhaps a few new things but I have read enough popular science books about the solar system and a like to make an other one short on surprises. I don't intend to make this a book review but I do have to say that Sagan, is very readable. He has always been one of my I should read authors.
So I was reading the first few chapters, about half the book is a review of the knowledge of the solar system as it was known in 1994. Which is not all that different from now only we have a few more fine details worked out. As he was working through a chapter on vulcanism, describing all the weird materials that erupt from the surfaces of many small worlds in this star system I had a feeling I had forgotten. I became excited by the odd little worlds that orbit the giants of the outer reaches. I was reminded of why I studied Earth and Environmental Science in the first place.
It must have been 2002 or 2003, I had just returned to university after a couple years of bumming around and was ready to get on with my education. I had not yet found a major, but I wanted to choose some direction quickly so I could plan around graduating rather then taking the first year sampler program. So I found my self taking Human Geography, and Earth and environmental science, both were first year classes. I had in my first two years taken some Geography for what worked out as easy credits, mostly, and was toying with it as a major. I ended up rejecting geography based on the fact I did not like human geography ( sociology with maps) and because it would have been an arts degree, something some how against my principles. I have nothing against arts degrees, I have something against me having one.
So I ended up in Earth and environmental science because of the two first year classes I took on my return to school it was the class I liked the best. Of coarse, I always had hope of being involved in space science one way or another, I had long since realized I lacked the over achieving workalholic nature to become an astronaut. So I rationalized my choice as follows, I can not know if we will ever find life in space but I know we will find rocks so I might as well study them.
For some time I have been working a conventional job, ignoring that baseline passion of mine. I get more excited about the happenings of a world the sizes of a hill of beans then I do about most maters around my current job. I could quickly be talked into reading technical papers about those worlds well before I would start to devout my spare time to the Yellow Knife Greenstone belt and or the Southern Slave Province. So a little Carl Sagan reminded me of first love in science. I can not let my self for get that.
Other things that should be remembered are the first and second degree contacts I am an email and a favor away from reaching if I had a reason. I once met a senior researcher from NASA who has been with them for what looks like forever, with a CV I can not begin to recall, what I do recall is he worked on training some of the Apollo astronauts in field geology and much later was a lead author on a paper that caused much debate. ALH84001, is still being studied I believe.
I do recall spending an evening in a lecture with some equally nerdy friends and going to a rather busy social after wards where I apparently made a good impression and also I met one of canadas more famous geologists that night, but diamonds have never been my thing.
So as I sit here in the frozen north I remind my self of the why of my choice of profession and the need to find my way on the the path I have always wanted. I have met the right people, I have a passion now I have a challenge to over come. Not the challenge of applying to grad school, which will be a drag but the challenge of over coming my own poor thinking. I have been poor enough for long enough that I resist any change to a secure situation even if it is not completely satisfying. That attitude kept me flipping burgers at the same joint for close to two and a a half years before the demands of school over powered that job.
I suppose I need a touch more faith.
As it was said in the year 2259, Faith manages.