It’s about 7 when we pull up alongside of a road cut that I’ve been eyeing for the last few weeks. I had conscripted my conspirator in the dastardly deed into collecting some rock samples this Saturday morn. We, or should I say he, grabbed about 20 good sized rocks and we scurried home. It’s hot and sticky and here I am bent over with a hammer and a makeshift chisel splitting rocks searching for fossils. So far not one, I was just about to give up. I picked up my last rock, carefully looking for seams. I placed my screwdriver along the seam and stuck the head hard enough to separate but not cause it to crumble. The rock split perfectly. No fossils, but instead the gray stones interior revealed an unexpected iron oxide deposits with dendrites that reminded me of those beautiful sonoran desert scenes. Instant nerdgasm.
If you know what a road cut is, you, my friend, are a nerd.
Do you have a budding nerd in your circle of influence? Is there some special ability or talent that you can cultivate and pass on to the next generation? Start with something simple.
When my kids were very young, we would ride up to one of our favorite spots, Greasy Creek, and collect everything from rocks, crayfish, newts, fish, you name it. From there it blossomed to “speriments” in jars in the bathroom, model rockets, building telescopes, electric cars, flying cars and on and on. Every summer I’d buy workbooks and paperback classical novels, and some new “speriment” to try. We weren’t rich, just average, so back then at least a fancy pair of sneakers and cable bill could pay for a lesson or two and even a summer’s project.
Though I’m no numismatist, geologist, nor ornithologist I enjoy sharing these light hobbies with my budding grand nerds.