Earthquake Day

Yesterday, for me, was earthquake day. Not like a holiday that you celebrate in any special way, but rather a day full of deadlines for my earthquakes class. This semester I'm taking GEOS120: Earthquakes, Glaciers, and Volcanoes. This is a pretty unique class because it's taught by three different professors who have their own assignments and finals, and their own 5 week block. So for the first 10 lectures we learn about earthquakes, the next 10 we learn about glaciers from the glaciologist, then finally the volcanoes unit. At the end of the entire semester though, we're not tested on all three units, just the final one about volcanoes.


So the first prudent thing I did yesterday was show up to my lecture hall an hour early. Fortunately, there's no class directly before mine so I was able to just sit in my seat and go over my lecture notes before the final. I had about 8 handouts to look through and had just enough time to study all the material. It was challenging, but I felt relatively prepared for it. Most college students' favorite part of test days? You frequently get to leave as soon as you're done with the exam. This was the case with yesterday.

The second seismic activity I had planned for the day was my weekly lab. It's about an hour after my typical lecture time, but because we got out early it gave me about an hour and a half to get a little homework done and eat some food. My lab is up in the Reichardt building, about a half mile up the hill from the Wood Center where I took my lunch break. So I hop on the shuttle and get off at my stop. Some professors (like the TA in my lab) start class right on the dot, so it's important to get there early. Even though it's scheduled for 3 hours, the lab wasn't too hard and I finished with about an hour and a half to spare. This left me with one last earthquake assignment: the essay.

Our essay assignment was to pick two of five earthquakes: Japan 2011, Haiti 2010, Sumatra 2004, Alaska 1964, and San Francisco 1906, and then write about where, when, which tectonic plates, cost of damage, loss of lives, and a number of other specific details about each earthquake.

I should have started sooner and not put it off, but procrastination is something I'm quite good at... so I waited until the day it was due. Luckily, I'm a decent writer and it didn't take me 8 hours to write. So I was able to do my research, write the essay, and provide a works cited page with in-text citations by midnight. It was an exhausting day, but at least an actual earthquake didn't occur and wipe out Fairbanks.

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