Reflections on the School of Rock

Reflections on the School of Rock, Thursday, September 19th

I’m flying in a plane as I write this, five miles above the geologic landforms and features below. I’m thinking of all my fellow Rockers and how much I miss them already. We had such a great time together, learning so very much about our wonderful Earth, for ten geo-packed days! There’s so much to process, remember, review and reflect upon—it still feels as if I’ve been dreaming.

Last night I watched the sunset behind my favorite ship, JOIDES Resolution. As the sky went dark over San Diego, the lights came on. Her rigging stood tall and proud over all the other ships in the harbor. The crew was still hard at work, off-loading things from the previous mission and loading other things on for the next. There is no rest for her, even in port; the crane operators and all the “red jumpsuit guys” are still working round the clock, until she sets sail again. (And, then they will continue with their work while at sea, 24-hours a day for two months!)

Crane Operator, hard at work, late into the night.I can’t help but wish I was going with them—into the yet-unknown bottom of the Guaymas Basin. We know some things about what’s under the sea, but there’s so much more still to discover. To be on the catwalk as the cores come up would be so exciting! To be in the labs as the cores are split and analyzed would be a fabulous adventure! As a School of Rocker and lover of the JR, I’m well aware of the frontiers still ahead of us.

I can’t help but wonder if the next time I see her in a port, if I too might be getting ready for an expedition on the great red, white and blue Time Machine of Geo-Knowledge—one where scientists, drillers and crew members from 50 member nations of the International Ocean Discovery Program work together in harmony with nature and each other, all in the peaceful pursuit of science.

Will I get to see sediments and microfossils never seen before? Will I get to teach school children and others around the world via video screens, as if I were on the Jetsons? Will I get to live out my dream of sailing on the JOIDES Resolution? Unfortunately, I am traveling in a flying machine and not in a time machine, so only time will tell the answers to these questions.

Until then, Bon Voyage, JR and crew. We can’t wait to see what mysteries of the deep you uncover in the coming months.

As for the 2019 School of Rock, that’s a wrap. Thank you so much to all of the participants, instructors and others who made it all happen and who made it so geo-epic!

Vicki R.


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JOIDES Resolution