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 The first blind student I tutored, like those that followed didn't need any help at all on any learning regarding the textbook, their ability to memorize was astounding, one reading of material by a room mate was enough. 
  Hmm.. Geerat Vermeij- UCLA, U.Cal, one of the west coast universities. We've crossed paths over the years at Geol. Soc. America, Amer. Malacological meetings; not much other contact since he does a lot of work with Cenozoic ecology and Gastropoda while I've been firmly planted in Paleozoic Bivalvia fo all of my career. Last thing I've read of his was something in marine paleoecology a few years ago.  Besides, Californians, like New Yorkers think mid-westerners are cave-men (why they call us the "fly-over" states), and in return we just think they all are weird hippies. Lol, the American class system defined!
  Annea gets to teach all by herself for the first time this fall at one of the branch campuses, so she's a nervous wreck, month to go and she's about got class materials all ready. Freshman Historical Geology 105, pretty much students will have high school biology, a general science course which includes earth science, maybe a chemistry course, so a lot of ground to cover. I took early retirement in June but promised I'd stick around for a year and get the University's collection all nice and tidy, annoy the grad students some more before I get pretty much go dig all I want instead of make tests, grade papers: pretty much anything but be out collecting.
  We didn't see much on micro here (one nice post of a gentleman's setup on table), so I mentioned a general write up on micropaleo (basic tools, techniques and such) would be nice and would let her work out a schema for the course. She made me promise I would also do a technical type post, so I'll be tackling a write up on Taxonomy basics. Take a couple of days since we want to include references to UKGE items where possible.

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Bill G
For newbies to fossil collecting, and those who find something different to their normal finds, here's a link to a way to id fossil types by shape. This will give you a good idea of what you have, and a starting point for further investigation. Although written by the Kentucky Geological Survey, the shapes are universal.

Edited by Bill G 2011-01-10 16:10:58
Cheers, Bill
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Hey thats great Bill.... I think I posted that same link on TFF.... great guide!
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I like that the trilo is not really a shape!
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Oooo!  Fab!  Many thanks!
What I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm!
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  Back in 1970-1972 I took part in a new program at Bowling Green State University where those in the honors program in the sciences were paid to tutor special needs students since the university required all students to take at least 3 science courses with practical lab experience. I was assigned to tutor in the basic freshman/sophomore Historical Geology (paleo) course which required as final lab exam of each student receiving a tray of 30 fossils to identify to the phylum & class level. For 4 semesters I averaged having 5 blind students needing to learn how to identify fossils: it took a lot of practicing blind-folded or in the dark but it gave me a completely different perspective on fossil identification. Plus all my very bright charges aced their finals. A very fascinating and satisfying experience.
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hi Rick,

your story reminds me of one of my heroes - Geerat Vermeij...have you ever met him?.. it would be both fascinating and an honour for me. (For those who have not heard of this mollusc expert check the web maybe starting with wikipedia  )

My mother and one of my grandfathers were blind and they continually amazed me with their abilities and perception.

thanks for your interesting posts... when will we hear from Annea...microfossils are much more fun

bring on the mud, bring on the slime, push those pesky dinosaurs out of the way

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