Monday, 9 April 2012

Having a "Wales" of a time!

If you've been wondering where I've been, perhaps even worrying about the radio silence a little, fret no more. Normal service is now resumed. I spent the last week of March in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, teaching first year undergraduates about the joys of geology.

We had glorious weather for most of the week - the perfect conditions to think about sedimentology and structural geology.

Amroth - it used to be a delta during the Carboniferous

West Angle Bay - the sediments were deformed when continents collided

We stayed in little wooden cabins near to Broadhaven. Set on a hillside, they were warmer and more substantial than the static caravans we've used before. I really appreciated not being able to hear my colleagues snoring through the walls! And Broadhaven boasts an excellent chippie.

I enjoyed the field class, but it was hard work. As well as longish days in the field, we also had meetings in the evenings to help the students with their work. I've also realised that I have a different approach to teaching to some of my colleagues - I think a university education should be about teaching people to think and do, not just filling their heads with facts, so I found it very frustrating when the students just wanted to be told "the answers" and some of the lecturers were determined to give hour-long lectures in the field.

Conditions were a little more challenging on the last couple of days, but thankfully a couple of my colleagues were well prepared for protecting us from the elements as we had lunch on a headland in a stiff breeze.

I got home a little windswept, a little freckled, and very glad to sleep in my own bed again.


Aunt Marti said...

Charlotte, you absolutely should come to Colorado. We have the most geologically diverse area in North America -- and we're fun too. Plus, you can sleep in my guest room and visit all the cool geologic sites on day trips!

Maureen said...

It looks so beautiful! - and if I lived closer, I would love to be able to audit your lectures!

8556732 said...

"some of the lecturers were determined to give hour-long lectures in the field"

I love it! Totally agree