[meteorite-list] Are Meteorites For Boys Only?

From: J. Devon <musnat_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat Aug 21 17:58:05 2004
Message-ID: <001301c487c9$eed1ce40$0400a8c0_at_yourcn2ccrvzt0>

This is an interesting question. I have been a collector for some time now,
and I was one of those kids who always came home with a pocket full of rocks
from wherever I went. Sometimes I liked the way they felt, sometimes the
color, sometimes the shape, sometimes I liked it because it looked like a
horse or a potato or a car. My class went on a field trip once to Franklin
Mines in NJ, and many of the rocks were fluorescent. My mother had told me
I could only bring home what I could carry myself, so I brought an old army
duffle bag and dragged home 80 pounds of rocks! : )

When I was 10, we did some excavation work at my house and after much
begging, my parents let me keep the massive dirt pile that was the end
result of it all. I would sit for hours, literally, cracking open rocks to
see what was inside.

When anyone I know went somewhere on vacation, I'd always ask for a rock.
Not something purchased wholesale and sold in a local rock shop, but an
actual piece of the place. It was not only a study (for me) of what that
distant place was *made* of, but also interesting to see what kind of rock
that particular person would choose, and where they would choose it from (an
interesting historical site, an interesting geological site, or just a
random rock somewhere that caught their eye).

I was very good in science in school, but once the study of a particular
subject got too far into minute details, it would lose interest for me. I
love biology, geology, chemistry, and to some extend physics too. I like
mathematical theory, but nothing involving actual numbers! I guess I'm more
of a concept/theory person rather than a nuts & bolts/practical
application/statistics person. I don't know if this is more true of women,
or not. And as for gemstones, I love them but never wear them. Go figure!

I absolutely love meteorites, but perhaps not for the same reasons that many
on this list do. I don't really consider them an investment, I don't really
pay too much attention to the very detailed chemistry of a particular
specimen. I try not to let collecting become anything that brings me
frustration, so I don't really keep tabs on the "politics" of collecting, or
who is undercutting who in price. But, I do love them, for probably the
same reason I loved getting rocks from wherever my family and friends
traveled. It is a piece of somewhere. Some very real place where no one has
been, with a very real story if only it could let us know. It is a link and
a *connection* to something entirely "other". And yes, sometimes I just
have to have a meteorite for the way it looks, or feels, for its story, or
sometimes even just for the name. This may seem frivolous and unscientific
but it makes me happy so I just go with it! Same with astronomy. I love
looking at planets, stars, northern lights, meteor showers, you name it. I
have a great telescope, but the equipment itself doesn't do much for me the
way it does for some people. It's the feeling of being able to be connected
to the universe in some way that eludes you in day to day life.

I think that maybe collecting is more of a personality thing, rather than a
gender thing although with those statistics it's hard to argue there isn't a
gender bias. I have trained many employees at my store to sell meteorites
over the years, and many of them have become collectors too. Women seem
just as interested as men, for the most part. But you would have to expect
that anyone working in my store is already going to be predisposed to liking
the natural sciences.

Alright, I've rambled on far too much and all I can provide is anecdotal
information for one person after all!

Back to lurking!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Altmann" <Altmann_at_Meteorite-Martin.de>
To: <bernd.pauli_at_paulinet.de>; <Meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2004 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] Are Meteorites For Boys Only?

> Maybe a question of old role plays and old patterns of education? Boys
> playing with dirty stones, frogs etc. and girls have the destiny to play
> household and to handle with more "pretty" things and of course they are
> more talkative so predestinated for linguistic concepts?
> There are some promising results here in Germany ,( perhaps as a teacher
> know better Bernd?), that in school girls, if they are not disturbed by us
> nasty boys, thus giving up the coeducation, they get much better results
> natural science, physics, maths (biology is already a domain of girls) in
> school.
> Also as an amateur astronomer I made this observation, that there is only
> minor fraction of female enthusiasts.
> Another concern - I don't know, if my emails made it through the list, as
> don't get it displayed here, while the other traffic is visible.
> Same I heard now from other members.
> So please administrator: Help!
> (and sorry if there were multiple test mails from me...).
> Greetings from Munich, where I found a new exiting beer. Hope to drink
> some of you some pints, when the Mineralientage will take place in end of
> October!
> Skol
> Martin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <bernd.pauli_at_paulinet.de>
> To: <Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
> Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2004 11:13 PM
> Subject: [meteorite-list] Are Meteorites For Boys Only?
> > Very interesting question and I would leave it to our "girls" to
> > But there is one (statistical) observation from 32 years of teaching at
> > a German high school: The girls I have been teaching during the last
> > 32 years were mostly good at languages whereas the boys preferred
> > scientific subjects. Whether the foundation stone for such orientations
> > is laid in early childhood, I don't know but I will ask both my
> 36-year-old
> > daughter and my 29-year-old son plus my son-in-law what they think
> > about it. Maybe we "automatically" bring up boys orienting them more
> > toward science while we "inadvertently" direct girls toward "more
> > things (whatever that is) ... I really don't know but would like to know
> >
> > Best wishes,
> >
> > Bernd
> >
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Received on Sat 21 Aug 2004 05:58:03 PM PDT

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