This year I went to the Open University’s revision weekend for the second year running. Last year I was doing my second level exams and found it immensely helpful, so in the face of my level three exams I thought I would go again for a quick brush-up of my skills. Familiar faces from the London OU Geological Society (LOUGS) cropped up, along with some previous and current tutors. The day is pretty hardcore, lasting from 10am til 5pm with few breaks, but it covers all the basics you need to know to study geology, and includes a lot of practical work looking at hand specimens and drawing maps.
One of the best things about these revision days is the fact that they take place at the Royal Holloway’s geosciences department. It’s a wonderful building filled with some great samples of rocks, minerals and fossils, and some rather interesting bits and pieces such as a copy of Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology.
This time the pace was ramped up a bit, however. Someone from the LOUGS (I never did find out who) brought in a series of old geology books and some rock samples to be taken away for free. Now, the danger with taking away old geology books is that the subject changes so rapidly from day to day that it’s important to keep your knowledge up to date, but a few books from the past can be healthily consumed as long as you remain aware they may no longer be accurate. So naturally, I picked up a good few. I also got my hands on some fantastic examples of quartz and galena, big hulking rocks to put in my rock garden!