Thursday, February 20, 2014

My world is is my Geology notebook

I remember the first question my first geology professor asked us in our Physical Geology class - "What color is rock?"

Of course like any class full of students who did not know one another, all we were able to do was look around at each other, shrug our shoulders and hope someone would say something. All I remember is that I wanted to ask him "What type of rock?" Thankfully, someone had the guts to answer for the class and the answer was "gray".

Not a very imaginable answer but he was right, at least for some rocks. I have seen all types of colors in rocks, and being an artist, my brain has never let me see things like most people. I don't see gray. I see a pale heather, or charcoal gray, a greenish-gray or steel gray. Growing up I was excited at Christmas time because I knew the weight and shape of the Crayola 64 Crayon Box (with Built-In Sharpener), and every year I received a new box wrapped up under the tree, which I easy confirmed with its size specifications . I LOVED my crayolas...I still do. I refuse to buy any cheapo crayon, if they are not Crayola they are not crayons. I just hate those waxy awful cheap ones that don't distribute the color properly.

Photo credit: Wikipedia
So you are probably thinking where the heck am I going with Crayola crayons as a geologist?

Well, for big kids they make colored pencils. My geology notebooks come to life with colors, so much that just in my second semester at my university, my teachers and classmates are well aware of my "color addiction". I must admit however that I have purchased "artist-quality" color pencils such as Prismacolor, however I prefer Crayola's color pencils (the 50-color pack is the best).

One of the best things about my first geology professor was his love of a blackboard and colored chalk. Last year they moved his science department to a new state-of-art building but they did not install blackboards. I think he probably went through withdrawals, as I know I would have. I cannot imagine his lectures without that blackboard.

Grip Trio Sharpener
For geology class notebooks however, you can have all the color you want. Many of my geology classes, require us students to bring them to class. Mapping or drawing up stratigraphic columns especially. Buying a cheap zippered pencil case and keeping your colored pencils in it, allows you to take it to class, on field study trips, or where ever you need them.Get a really good pencil sharpener also to carry in your pencil case, as the cheap ones I have found damage the wood, nicking it and causing the leads to break off a lot.  I purchased the Faber-Castell 3-hole sharpener, and you will love how it sharpens color and regular pencils. Costs about $4.49-5.99. Dick Blick online art supplies have it probably for the cheapest.

For a good notebook check out Top Flight's "Wired" series with heavy paper. The paper is nice and thick, and pens and colored pencils do not leak through to the other side. The other reason I recommend these spiral bound notebooks is that because their paper is heavyweight, it lasts a long time, and stand up to the ins-and-outs of backpacks.

Next is how to organize your notebook so you can find the answer in a hurry without flipping through the entire notebook.

P.S.: Put your name and phone number on your notebook. Do NOT chance losing it because you will be sad.

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