Saturday, October 1, 2011

My schedules for this blog neve seem to pan out

I thought I'd still be able to do these on a regular basis once I went back to campus for the fall semester but that hasn't worked out so far.

In order to get all the math I require before I graduate I had to start taking it and it's not really one of my best subjects, so it's been eating up a lot of my time outside of class. Which is probably good thing- I'm getting the help I need because the math department has an excellent tutoring and student study session set-up so I can ask questions when I need to. Hopefully by the time I'm at Calculus it won't be quite as much of a chore.

The other thing that is taking up a lot of time (a good thing!) is my vertebrate paleontology class wich has probably the most awesome professor ever teaching it. After I talked to her last semester about my interests she agreed to waive the pre-required classes so I could take it, which makes me the youngest person in the class (a sophomore with mostly seniors and some juniors and grad students). It's not a huge class, which is nice, but it goes at a quick pace and there's a lot of information to process. The reason it works is that there are both biology majors and geology majors in the class, so she does have to go over a few of the basics for both that I've missed by not taking the other classes. Things I will have to do in order to graduate anyway like historical geology and organic chemistry.

I am getting a lot more out of the class than just simple paleo lectures though. I love labs and this class has a lot of them- the specimens are fun to work with, and the length of the class leaves plenty of time for discussion. I've also learned a lot about what the grad students are doing. A couple of the undergrads are working on their own research as well which always adds a fun dimension onto the class discussions. It's also been helping me narrow down my focus as well- I'm pretty sure I want to work on the paleoecology of this part of Idaho before the great Bonneville flood. Possibly with further focus on Onychodus, a Devonian era fish with a set of tooth whorls and a possible ambush predator. I'd do sharks, but it seems a bit like the easy route because there are quite a few people interested in them in this class- specifically the Helicoprian sharks. We have a lot of those specimens which makes it a good thing to work with.

As a result of this the subjects of my art recently have been influenced so expect my shop to have a nice glut of extinct fishes and tetrapods in stock for awhile. I'm using them as a study guide.