Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who I Am and Why I'm Blogging

Hello, everybody, and welcome to my blog. I figured my first entry into this venture should be introductory, as my future writings would probably lack context otherwise. I'm currently enrolled in the Construction Engineering program at Montana State University-Bozeman and have another year or so before I graduate. Before this, I spent over five years in the Air Force working with munitions. As both of these paths were essentially chosen for me by the government, I've decided to wander off and finally learn about something that actually interests me.

I found as much of the set as I could online last year. Abebooks is an awesome resource for used books.

I first became interested in dinosaurs at the age of five when I asked my mother to order a series of books from Rourke Publishing(see above). I had already taught myself how to read, and these books were great for fine-tuning the skill. My exposure from that time forward was rather limited. As an eight-year-old Cub Scout, I made my first visit to the Museum of the Rockies and was awestruck by the dinosaur collection. My mother sent me with six dollars to spend and I used it all on a coffee mug I have to this day.

My dad broke the handle off about 17 years ago. I've still got the pieces and it's still awesome.

The following year, my fourth-grade class took a field trip to the museum as part of our unit on dinosaurs. This trip wasn't as fun, as the group I traveled with was substantially larger. This was my last visit to see the dinosaurs until the fall of 2011 when it was required for a geology course. Given the proximity of my hometown of Big Timber, Montana to the museum and multiple dig sites, I am somewhat surprised that the schools wouldn't do more to utilize these resources. Due to the absence of educational offerings in the subject, my dinonerdity was forced into hibernation.

The aforementioned geology class awakened my affection for dinosaurs in a big way. I've started buying whatever books I can find and reading them when I can, I've visited the museum multiple times in the past year, and I keep up with the latest in paleontology news via Twitter. This blog is the next step in my process. Since my education is self regulated, I felt that keeping a journal of my progress would help keep me on track. I don't know how much I can learn about dinosaurs and paleontology, but as I told Andrew Farke recently...

I look forward to continuing in my efforts to expand my dinosaur knowledge base and will enjoy this opportunity to share in my learnings. I suspect my entries will evolve over time, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to pass on some of my personal discoveries.

P.S. In case anyone is wondering, I read Jurassic Park when I was nine, months before the movie was in theaters. For this reason, the movie was a disappointment. It was still a wonderful experience, but the book had so much more to offer.

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