Our Chemistry class went on a field trip yesterday, to a seismic surveying site (like the alliteration there?). It’s close to Cochrane, and the scientists there do demonstrations for groups of people of all ages, ranging from children to adults. The main reason for going there, that I found, was to try to recruit us into the oil and gas industry. Geophysics seems very interesting, especially when you realize that there could be mountain ranges, valleys, and caves under the very ground that you tread on to go to school every single day. The use of explosives to map the subterranean struck me as being very innovative, as well as practical. The explosives, usually dynamite, create a wave of energy underground, which creates vibrations, which in turn are read by sensory equipment called geophones. Another way of transferring energy into the ground is through vibroseis trucks; these trucks slam the ground with large plates, creating the same effect as dynamite, only on a smaller scale. These techniques are used to determine the location of buried natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, and more recently, water. Personally, I found the demonstrations and explanations somewhat tedious and boring. I believe that there should have been more hands-on experience with the equipment. The most interesting part of the day came at the end, when the crew at the station set off some dynamite in order to show us how the energy (in the form of p waves and sheer waves) is transferred through the ground. They staged an air rescue as well, using a helicopter to rescue a mock victim. A machine that I found interesting was the mulcher, a machine which grinds trees into mulch during the laying down of survey lines. What struck me as ironic about this machine is that it was advertised in a video as being “economically friendly,” while it was ripping down enormous, old trees.

In the end, I found the trip worthwhile, though a bit lengthy. Thankfully, it was a nice day, unlike last year’s class, who faced a sudden snow storm (alliteration again =D). Even though walking between stations was exhausting, it was entertaining talking to some of my friends. The stories one tells in a classroom are radically different than the stories told in an outdoor setting, in the middle of a forest. I have always loved hiking and being outdoors, so I found the whole day that much more enjoyable than the, shall we say, gamers of IB.

My school marks aren’t doing so great as of now, but I hope they improve sometime in the very near future. The best way to increase my History mark is to get a hundred percent on my essay on Tuesday. This weekend will be spent in reading my History textbook, because I really want to be able to get a perfect score for the first time in high school History.

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