Heloise is studying geology because she likes being outdoors, and because everybody she’s met in her geology class seems to her to be, well, they all seem like free spirits or renegades or something. You know, climbing mountains and hiking deserts and stuff. Heloise is happiest when bicycling because she can cover so much more ground seeing so many more rocks; she believes in the old adage that “the best geologist is the one that has seen the most rocks.” When Heloise says she is going to a “rock show” she doesn’t mean music. Also, as a child, Heloise actually wanted to get coal in her stocking for Christmas or any other kinds of rock. When Heloise thinks of geology she thinks of a favorite poem —
And speaking of stones, what about
The little ones you can
Hold in your hands, their heart beats
So secret, so hidden it may take years
Before, finally, you hear them?
– Mary Oliver
When Heloise asked her friend Hildegard if she had heard about the geologist who was reading a book about helium, Hildegard answered, “No I haven’t.” Heloise replied, “He just couldn’t put it down.”
Hildegard, a friend of Heloise advised, “Don’t take a schist for granite!” Hildegard also said, “A geologist is the only person who can talk to a woman and use the words ‘dike,’ ‘thrust,’ ‘bed,’ ‘orogeny,’ ‘cleavage,’ and ‘subduction’ in the same sentence without facing a civil suit.