Geology, Homeschooling

I’m teaching mineralogy this semester and it has been awesome so far

Hello, my dear readerships! How’s everyone doing? Been so busy a lot with enrollment stuff for my Master’s and then, preparation for my class in Mineralogy. But today, I have just paid for my tuition fee and have already oriented my students for the semester so I got a bit of time to unwind and write here.

As promised in my previous blog which was about some of the highlights in my youngest son’s homeschooling, today is the day I announce some changes in my career. I have decided to take a master’s degree in geology in my alma mater! And as part of this momentous shift in my life, I’m also teaching my first batch of undergraduate students. My first class for this semester will focus on mineralogy, all to be done virtually for now.

Since we are still in pandemic none of my students will get the chance to hold mineral samples, feel and see, and analyze thin sections under the microscope. It’s kind of sad, really. When I was undergraduate, the biggest factor why I fell in love with petrology (the study of rocks, basically) was observing them as hand specimen as well as in thin sections under a polarizing microscope. If you think rocks are gray and boring, think again. You’ll have to see some of the photos I took of rock thin sections under the microscope to see how colorful they can be.

This is a mineraloid opal I bought from Australia a few years ago mountain on my son’s playdough. Beautiful, isn’t it? It reminds me of tropical beach.

As part of curriculum, my students will need to learn how to identify minerals which is one of the core skills in geology they need to acquire. To help them appreciate the various properties of minerals, I took photos and videos of my personal mineral collection that I will show them in the coming weeks. I have also uploaded some of them in Canva in high resolution so learning facilitators may use them for their classroom.

This is a photo of my selenite crystal, a calcium sulfate mineral on volcanic rock that I have received from fellow geologist in Philex mine site during my visit as a guest there a few years back. Can you see the individual squarish form?
Can you guess what those yellow flakes are? If you guessed gold, you are correct. πŸ™‚
And this one is pyrite, also known as fool’s gold due to its color similarity with gold. However, in powdered form pyrite is actually sooty black in color.
Rotating video of my amethyst quartz crystal. I bought this one from Brisbane, Australia during the International Geological Convention a few years ago.
This rose quartz show it’s typical pink color as well as translucent property. I bought this from a mineral shop in Brisbane, Australia. Posting this here for those who are studying minerals such as my students in mineralogy.
The pink mineral is gypsum, while the minerals on top are pyrite. I’m sharing this here because this gypsum looks different from the desert rose version in the video above.

I will be posting more in the coming days. πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “I’m teaching mineralogy this semester and it has been awesome so far”

  1. Huge congratulations Grass on your Masters enrolment and your teaching position! That is such wonderful news. Girl, you are going to be so busy!!! Please don’t neglect your blog though, I cannot wait to read of all your achievements πŸ’–
    All β€œok” here in Australia, still some states in lockdown, QLD has however escaped the harshest of the lockdowns and we are freely mingling, with masks on of course 😷.
    I have some amazing rocks/gemstones you may be interested in looking at, I will try to find my chrysocolla one, it resembles a cupcake!
    Thanks to your blog post on junk journalling, I have begun the process of getting all of my craft supplies out of the various sheds they are stashed away in. Looking at starting up my own embellishments Etsy store with my handmade accents and ephemera. Fun times ahead πŸ˜‚


    1. Hey BecJ. Apologies again for the delayed response. September was hectic for me because of the transition into a teacher and MS student at the same time. Regarding the pandemic, it’s still the same here in our country – but the lockdown has eased down a bit but kids and elderlies are still not allowed to go out. We are likewise required to wear masks and face shields when visiting establishments. Oh wow, I would love to see your gemstones and rocks. I bought some of my specimens from Brisbane when I visited in 2012. I missed Australia and hope to be back when this pandemic is over. I would also love to see your Etsy store. Send the link to me please! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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