by Suw on March 22, 2010

A couple of days ago a volcano called Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland erupted in a classic ‘curtain of fire’. The photos and video of the event are pretty, as well as pretty impressive.

There are some fab photos on Flickr too, and more footage on the BBC.

It’s times like this I really wish I was still a geologist. Over the years I’ve had crises of confidence about whether I should have stayed in geology or not. Those don’t happen any more, mainly because of Kevin. Had I gone back to academia I would never have met him and I would be infinitely worse off. But yet, I do still yearn for science. I think sometimes that I try to take a scientific, evidence-based approach to social media precisely because my scientific side is not being satisfied.

I’ve always struggled to balance my creative and my scientific sides. At university, there wasn’t enough room for me to be creative. In fact, being creative felt like a burden. I remember sitting in paleo lab sessions and so very carefully drawing my specimens to an artistic standard that was unnecessarily high. I’d get three or four specimens done, when I should have finished 10.

My first job out of uni was in science publishing. I was an ‘editorial assistant’, which meant I did lots of admin. That didn’t satisfy any of my intellectual or creative needs at all. When there was talk that the company was going to open a geology title, I lobbied in favour and put myself forward as a candidate for the editor’s position. They didn’t encourage such behaviour and, realising that I had nowhere to go, I left.

That was the last time that I’ve been in an even vaguely scientific environment. These days I think I’m making headway on satisfying my creative needs. My writing and bookbinding fills me with excitement and happiness. Perhaps the changes that Kevin and I are making right now will allow me to start to satisfy my scientific side too.

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