Into The Classroom: An inside look at Eastern’s Geology class

By: Katherine Seeley

Many people dread taking their Gen Ed courses in college, especially if it is science or math (unless you are into these subjects, then it is probably more appealing). As someone who is not science-minded, I struggled to try to find what science class to take. As I was scrolling through the course catalog, it hit me. Geology.

Yes, geology. The study of rocks is the science class I landed on. While I had my doubts, it has been an interesting class so far. Geology is a spring semester class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00-11:50 a.m. This is a natural science course and people who are interested in natural resources, energy, outdoor activities, crystals and other aspects of nature will love this class. 

There is no required lab time for this class, but every Friday we do an in-class lab activity based on what we have learned from the lectures. One of the labs we did consisted of us going out and finding a rock, describing how it looked and felt and then comparing it to the rocks down at Walton pond. This was a nice lab because we were able to complete it on our own and bring it back for the following Friday’s lab. 

The professor is funny and laid back. He includes many pictures of different rocks and the different processes rocks go through. The homework load is very light. We have three tests during the semester, one of which is the final and a faith-based paper arguing about the geological timeline of the earth from two different points of view. We get to pick if we want to write from a faith-based standpoint or a secular standpoint or both. I like it because of how manageable the class is when it comes to homework. We rarely have any physical homework but we do have a lot of reading from our textbook. I feel like that is a fair trade because we can read a chapter for a week and not have to answer questions about it. The reading sets us up for what we are learning for the week and helps with our lab activities. 

Even though it is only the beginning of the semester, my favorite part of this class is the lab days. If we get done before class ends, we are able to leave early. If we are struggling, the people in the class are open to helping each other out along with the professor. If we cannot figure something out, the professor will walk us through it.

So far, it has been an easy class and the material is understandable. For someone who is not science-minded, I feel like I have a good grasp of the concepts we are learning. I recommend this class to people who are looking for a more simple science to fulfill their Gen Ed. I believe people should take this class because it has a manageable workload and you will learn a lot about how rocks are formed, along with what geologists do and why it is important to study geology. 

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