Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Mr. Geiger taught me

As Moriah comes into her last weeks of high school, I'm reminded of my senior year and Mr. Geiger. Mr. Geiger was my geology teacher. Think Mr. Feeny with a cowboy hat and much less refined. I liked his class because I like rocks. It even eventually helped me to discover my major in college, hydrology. It turns out that geology of water a closely related.

In the course of a year with Mr. Geiger, I can remember 3 words of wisdom that he freely offered even as they extended beyond the study of geology.

1) Mr. Geiger said, "When you have children someday, never respond to their questions with 'I don't know.' Instead, say, 'Let's find out.' And then do the research together to find the answer."

I've used this bit of wisdom often in my raising of Moriah and Elie. Google made it easier than Mr. Geiger could have ever imagined.

2) On a field trip when Mr. Geiger said, "If you're man enough to chew, you're man enough to swallow." He actually gave this advice as we road a bus to his garage. It was part of an invitation to chew tobacco if we wanted, but he didn't want us to spit on his flour. That was a different day, and probably still not kosher with the school administration, but I have never been man enough to chew by his standard. No one else was on that day either.

3) There is a mineral called halite. It is salt, just like the salt on your table. And it turns out that being salt, it tastes like table salt. In the mineral identification unit, Mr. Geiger offered this wisdom. "If you're in the woods and find something that might be halite, pick it up and taste it. If it tastes salty it might be halite...or some hippie and his dog was there before you."

I'll let you deduce the life lesson for the last one.