I went to a Geology class as a Fine Arts major

Geology is not all ‘rocks for jocks’

After a heated discussion between two of my friends about whether or not geology was really a “rocks for jocks” course, I wanted to know what it’s really like. So I decided to take the course myself and sit in on one of the classes.

I learned some things about geology (and myself) during this experiment. As a Fine Arts major, I have been blessed with the creative side, like writing and movement, rather than the scientific side. Second, I realized geology is way more interesting than just looking at rocks.

After my communications class, I walked over to one of the science buildings which I rarely ever step inside unless it’s for my required general science courses.


Right before the class started, a petite lady who ended up being the professor walked in and started setting up for the lecture.


1 minute in: The professor wrote on the smart board about an extra credit opportunity. Extra credit is always welcome as far as I’m concerned, so that earned some points from me.


5 minutes in: I was confused. I was expecting to see some kind of word relating to rocks appear on the screen, but instead I saw “Oceans and Shores.”


7 minutes in: The professor began by talking about underwater explorations. Now this peaked my interest. I thought I would be bored out of my mind, but it was actually very interesting.

11 minutes in: We were shown a video of an underwater volcanic eruption, which I did not know was a thing, but it was so cool.

15 minutes in: The professor showed another video of a robot going into the sea and getting sediment samples. I was impressed when she asked what type of rock this would be, and a majority of the class answered.

20 minutes in: The professor asked for three student volunteers and she made them simulate being in the “Alvin” (not sure if this is 100% correct). This was probably one of the funniest things I have seen because all three of the students were on the ground trying to take the exercise seriously and look through imaginary peep holes.

25 minutes in: Well, the fun and games have ended and the lecture portion on beaches has started.


27 minutes in: An image of a beach appeared on the screen and the professor said it was a pop quiz on which way the current was going. First of all, I do not know how the students got the answer right, because all it looked like to me was a beach.


30 minutes in: The professor drew lots of pictures of things that happen underwater.


33 minutes in: As interesting as all of this is, my brain refused to follow along. I probably would had done better if I knew the prior terminology she kept talking about, but I was lost.


36 minutes in: I learned an interesting fact about energy moving in tsunamis.


38 minutes in: My cover was blown. The professor called on me when I was trying to sneak a picture and asked me a question, nearly giving me a heart attack. She asked something like, “Since the wave takes the sediments from the beaches away when the water goes back to the sea, do local beaches prevent the beach houses from sinking?” or something along those lines. I was so terrified, I couldn’t write down the question.

39 minutes in: Luckily for me, I live at a beach and I actually knew the answer. I said something like, “The local whoever is in charge of this process takes sand from other places and moves it to where there is less sand to make it even.” This is probably one of the most unscientific answers of all time, so I was worried about being wrong. But then she said, “Not technically the science terms, but it works.” I took that as I was right.


45 minutes in: I like this professor more and more. There is extra credit, she is fun to listen to and she let her class out five minutes early. I asked the guy next to me if that was normal – he said no, but it happened when I was there so she earned some extra points.

Geology was way more interesting than I thought it would be, and it’s not just about rocks. I also learned that geology is way harder than the phrase “rocks for jocks.”

I probably won’t switch either of my majors, but I do think of science as a little bit more interesting now.

Appalachian State University