January 2, 2023 Update:
I dropped this course. Uncooperative professor, poorly edited textbook, inherently flawed way of teaching. Really, there is no way to do labs except in person. But the page below describes the main problem — a terrible textbook and a professor and a publishing house that doesn’t care about their students. Click on the title, “The Essential Errata.” (internal link).
My course materials came today. I’m taking an online class offered by BYU. That’s Brigham Young University for those of you outside the States. It’s Geology 101 and it is being conducted by a well thought of professor. 25 lessons in all at a university level. I’m warned the class is rigorous but I have a year to complete it. It should advance my knowledge of all things rocky and help in the writing of my new book.
Pictured below is the $160 textbook (!) and a bag of rocks and minerals with only numbers on them. No master list. I assume at some point their identities will be revealed. Or, more likely, I will have to figure them out myself.
Getting this rock and mineral collection reminded me of the classic Peanuts television movie, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” All he got was a rock.