I took Geology 101 in college to fulfill a requirement. The class was known as "rocks for jocks" -- it wasn't supposed to be hard, and that's exactly why I took it. (I was a history major -- science was for guys.) To my horror, we had a test every week that required us to identify rocks by sight. Knowing only that halite tasted like salt, I spent my first two quizzes surreptitiously licking each rock like a thirsty deer lapping at a stream.
Gradually, though, the information we covered began to stick. When we studied structural geology later in the semester -- a form of the science that relies heavily on logic to determine the geologic history of a site -- everything started to click for me. My professor even said I should become a structural geologist. I appreciated his feedback but pooh-poohed the idea. I mean, who could honestly make a living that way? Plus, I never envisioned myself as a scientist. Ever.
If only I had known that geologists have a wide array of rewarding and fascinating career choices, someone else might be writing this article.
Unfortunately, our misconceptions of the job market and of our own skills are too often confining. And we unknowingly pass these misconceptions on to our children, limiting their career choices before they're even old enough to work, particularly where girls are concerned.