Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whoa! I knew my wife would test me... but on a real test?

Apparently the universe has just sent several messages to me all wrapped-up in one drop-your jaw, amazingly crazy story of my wife (above in Death Valley, 2005) testing me... and I mean this literally. She actually appeared on a test I just took. Not a mere apparition like Jesus on toast. Not an apparition at all. This was a real angelic infiltration that had been conjured four years ago by an amazing geologist, photographer, storyteller and apparent sorcerer, Geotripper.

In future posts I'll have to tell the story of how Laura and I met on one of Geotripper's summer field studies, how we still help Geotripper in whatever ways we can to make his roadtrip life easier , and how he gave gave us the best wedding present ever. But for now those stories will have to remain as yet untold prequels to the amazing moment of my wife testing me.

Tonight was the culmination of my first semester of graduate studies in Geoscience Education through a distance learning program at Mississippi State. Just like all distance learning programs, the lessons are taught via DVD (or podcast for the even younger generation... apparently I'm already a techno-hasbeen at 30). Quizes and test for this course are administered online and must be completed during a given amount of time. No biggie, other than the fact that when one has a polite disagreement with a professor's test questions and answer rationale, it can be a bit hard to muddle through email correspondence to make sure everyone is on the same page.

My professor knew not of my background and extensive geologic travels with Geotripper, nor that I was married to a field geologist-turned great high school teacher. So imagine my immense surprise when up popped Question #~~ on tonight's semester final: "What type of fault is shown below?"

The question didn't throw me for a loop (this is the stuff 2nd graders learn), but the accompanying photo did. There, on my semester final, administered through Mississippi State, staring me straight in the face, was someone that looked quite familiar in a setting that I recognized. Within milliseconds of positively identifying the model in the picture, my unhinged jaw hit the computer desk so hard that it woke my wife... which was a good thing since it WAS MY WIFE looking at me from within the photo on the test! Here I was taking a test, and there was my wife, standing on the footwall of Mosaic Canyon’s (Death Valley) famous fault looking back at me. The photo-Laura was probably wondering why it took me so long (.05ms) to recognize who it was. My excuse was being "in-the-zone".

I hurriedly ran upstairs and dragged my recently tucked-into-bed & tired wife downstairs so she could witness her celebrity which you can view below. I only allowed her 15 seconds of fame because I only had twenty-nine minutes and 47 seconds remaining to complete twenty more questions. Laura relinquished a tired, bemused smile, groaned “I’m famous” and promptly went right back to bed.

If you’re wondering what Geotripper’s connection to all of this is, well, he’s the photographer. The photo below is an exact replica of the one that appeared on my final. He took it in 2005 during an amazingly wet year in Death Valley. So wet infact, that there were once in a lifetime wildflower displays, yet we instead focused our trip on rocks (bio-beauty is no excuse to hide geology, in Geotripper’s opinion). You can see his awesome Death Valley posts here, and then sit back, relax and wonder what it must feel like to have your loved one literally test you... on a mutiple choice test. It’s a story for the ages. It’s one that lets me know that my semester of hard work is done, and that I should spend a good deal of time with my wife, who has been so supportive of me during this time. She rocks.


Silver Fox said...

That's a great story! Hard to tell the person in your two photos is the same, what with all the rain gear and the distracting fault in the 2nd photo. :)

SciGuy315 said...

Laura (the model & my wife) has just told me it's not her fault that you cannot tell the difference. :-)

Geology Happens said...

Awesome story. and, as an online teacher it will be one I will tell often.

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