Earth Science is a gargantuan topic. I went for a week-long trip to Lucknow to delve into Earth science, primarily go to a rock factory and explore rocks and soil.
The Train journey
I have traveled in train before but always in A/C compartment. This trip we traveled in 2nd class. It was an authentic experience for me. There was galore of people in the train, something I am not used to of. People with tickets, without tickets and so on. At times the intense heat or the people got on my nerves, I reflected on myself and realized how privileged I am.The beggars that came in the compartment left a sinking feeling in my heart. One beggar even probed me to give him money. He was holding my feet and poking my knees. I felt very conscious and embarrassed. The train journey let me see the authentic India. The scenery outside the window was the prime part.
This trip we had the constrain of no yapping about anything else except earth science. I for 75% of the time resided with the topic. Due to the constrain I was more aware of myself and I felt good about myself.
I explored Earth science in multiple ways and I embraced the topic. During the trip 70% of the time I was thinking/talking about Earth Science. I read books, saw some very engrossing videos, talked and discussed about it, played games related to it, asked questions and wondered about Earth science. I played memory game, Chinese whisper, dumb charades and word chain game on Earth Science.I really enjoyed delving into something extraordinary
I learnt about the Rocks, soil, earth's core, Plate tectonics, atmosphere, volcanoes, earthquakes and other things. I learnt plenty in the trip but it has lelt me with an ample number of questions.
One topic that everything kept going back to was Atoms. I have skimmed the surface of atoms before but after exploring earth science I want to revisit atoms and understand it better. Earlier I had just learnt about atoms not really connected it anywhere but now it makes more sense and I have more unanswered questions.
We went to a factory. We worked along with the workers.
My time in the factory was mind - blowing. I saw rocks under the microscope and I was left awe-struck on how gorgeous and perfect the rocks are. When I read about rocks from a text-book, I don't feel connected or practical but when there were so many types of rocks around me I felt connected to them. I experienced first hand the differences between rocks, difference between an igneous rock and a sedimentary rock.
I worked in the factory. I cut a rock and polished it. It was nice working first hand with the rock and understanding its properties and applications. I cut a hard rock(Quartz) and then a soft rock(coal), I actually felt the difference between the two and realized what is hardness of a rock. The hands on work help me to connect my knowledge of rocks to reality. Indubitably I was left with a ton of questions and a quest to apprehend rocks more.
Visits to few Science Institutes
Paleontology and Fossil was a completely new topic for me. I know what a fossil is but never went beyond that. The visit to the Paleontology institute was eye-opening. I felt mesmerized with fossils and found it a preposterous thought.
We saw a film on Antarctica, It was a great film and I got insights of a place I have never touched upon.
Basically all the different visits during the trip left me with a galore of questions and thoughts. They opened ample of doors to topics I have not delved upon before.
We visited Bara Imambara in Lucknow. I found the building fascinating and it was an interesting place. I got some exposures to the culture of Lucknow. The finest was the food, kaabas and chats:).
One thing that left me smiling was the altruism of the people we met there. They hosted us with so much of care and love that I felt special. The gift economy left me perplexed.
I am so small, so tiny, so immature and so illiterate as a human compared to all the great things in science. I am a humble and limited part of a galore cosmos.
One conclusion I have come to after knowing a little about earth is that all the things I am doing in my day-to-day life to slowly harm the planet is actually harming me... The release of carbon in the air, the depletion of the ozone layer and many other things leading to human extinction and global warming is not destroying the planet it is destroying me. The planet has gone through even tougher times in the history. The planet is not going to be destroyed, I am being destroyed. This no where means I don't care for the planet but this thought gives me comfort for whatever reason.
I had a very memorable trip.