The geeks at Mines come in all different varieties with varying types of geekiness. “Compared to this school, I’m quite normal,” laughed Andrea Christians. But to those not at Mines and even those not in Geology, as Andrea is, she certainly is qualified as a geek; both outstanding and out standing in the field. Between homework, field trips, and watching Netflix, Andrea found time to chat with The Oredigger about her geekiness.
[The Oredigger]: Are you a geek or a nerd and why?
[Christians]: Hmm. Wait, what is the big difference between geeks and nerds? ‘Cause I feel like nerds are more into school and stuff and geeks are more into…geeky things…like geeky shows and video games and stuff.
I feel like I’m a nerd most of the time, but I am a geeky nerd, but I do a lot of schoolwork [laughs].
What distinguishes you as a geeky nerd? Or, what geeky nerdy things do you like to do?
I have a lot of geeky shows that I like to watch, like “Doctor Who”—is that geeky? Yeah, that’s geeky. I like sci-fi a lot. Like “Star Trek.”
I like to collect rocks. I feel like my rock collection is pretty nerdy. I got a lotta rocks. So currently, in my Colorado School of Mines collection—I’ve got more at home—I’ve got some fluorite that I got up in Boulder, malachite that I got went I went to Ouray, I’ve got some marble, I’ve got some gold and silver, I’ve got some quartz that I actually bought from the rock museum, I have some dark pink fossils, I’ve got some coal that I found once, and I’ve got a lot of k-feldspar. I’ve got a lot of quarts—a staple in a rock collection.
My family and I go on rock hunting trips together when I’m on vacation, which is really nerdy but really fun. One time we found some really cool rocks and some dinosaur poop. I know that sounds gross, but it’s fossilized dinosaur poop, called coprolite. It’s really legit. Then this other time we found this magnetized fossilized petrified wood. It’s really cool; it’s sitting in our backyard right now.
Yeah. I like a lot of rocks.
Why did you decide to come to Mines?
Well, like most people say, I applied because there was no essay. I really liked that. But I mean, I had heard about Mines before that and wanted to go to school in Colorado because it’s much better than Tennessee—I had to get out of the South. I don’t know, it seemed like a pretty cool school and it had Geological Engineering, which I wanted to do at the time because my dad was a geologist and it seemed pretty cool and a like rocks. Also I don’t think there’s a college with geological engineering in Tennessee. But I love Colorado, so I was like, “I’ve gotta get out there.” Then Mines gave me a scholarship, so I was like, “Why not?”
What do you do in your spare time?
Watch a lot of Netflix. Yeah. Hang out with friends, more Netflix…Currently I’m watching “Breaking Bad,” and it’s pretty good. I have to be like, “People, don’t tell me what happens!” I like to do outdoorsy stuff when it’s not cold and when I’m not doing homework.
If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?
Spiderman…because he’s Spiderman. He can climb on walls…he can shoot and sling spider web thingies everywhere, and he just swings. I just wanna swing around, like down in Denver or New York, and I would just do that all the time. People would be like, “Oh my gosh, come help me, I’m getting mugged!” and I’d be like, “I’m sorry, I’m swinging around. I don’t wanna come down there!” I’m gonna get me a Spiderman onesie. I was gonna buy it, but they’re out of stock right now.
What advice would you give to younger Mines students?
My advice would be…oh, this is a hard one. I’d say make sure you’re doing something you like. Don’t just do it for the money. Money is not your whole life. Don’t sell your soul. [coughs] …petros. [laughs]. No, my mom is a petroleum engineer, and she liked it.
What’s your favorite thing about being a geology major?
We go on a lot of field trips. It’s fun. I’ve been on I think four field trips in the last three weeks. And our field session is one of the best because we get to go around looking at rocks all the time and it’s really fun. It’s a tight-knit major where everybody knows each other, which is good and bad. But everybody likes each other.
My professors wear a lot of flannel, which is really cool. Random fact. If you ever want to see people wearing flannel, go into the Geology department. Khaki’s and flannel, man. All day, every day. They say a lot of funny things a lot of the time too. They’re just funny people, making a lot of rock puns.
What is your favorite rock pun?
“It’s not rocket science, it’s rock science.”