When I was in high school, I was a member of the Earth Science Club. The reason I joined the club was not because I was into earth science but because my two childhood close friends said they wanted to join. Well, it turned out to be a portal to a whole new world.
This earth science club was most unusual. They didn’t have any regular activities related to earth science. Instead, the members hang out in the club room during lunch time and after school watching and discussing some anime on an old TV screen in the room. Their favourite was the Gundam series. The club room was dark and cluttered with different scientific and outdoor equipment, and it was probably the least expected place to find young girls discussing robot anime with such heat.
I was not into this type of anime, so I barely participated in the club’s regular activity. However, I looked forward to the occasional field trips the club hosted. That was also when we got to properly meet our official club supervisor.
Our club supervisor was almost like a grandfather to us, because of his age and wisdom. His knowledge and love of earth science were superb, and he was fearless like a dinosaur.
On the day of our field trip, he would rent a small bus, put everyone in the vehicle and drive us to most adventurous places. Once he took us to a mountain road that was so narrow and steep that the scene would have caused a heart attack to our parents. When I looked out of the window, I saw a cliff right next to our bus and there was not even a fence to be seen.
Then our teacher suddenly pulled up the vehicle and called one of us to go out and remove a rock on the road. Apparently, a few rocks had fallen from above and blocked the road. My friends and I looked at each other’s face in horror. But our teacher was so calm that it made us think perhaps it was no big deal and we were overreacting.
Another time, we were having lunch in a rocky mountain, and I heard a roaring sound next to us. A few small rocks had rolled down the cliff behind us. Our teacher was the one who was sitting closest to the cliff, but he made no reaction and continued to enjoy his lunch. Looking at his poise, we also went back to eat our lunch as if nothing had happened.
The high school years were not the brightest time of my life. And yet, the unusual world of this earth science club has given me a space to breathe and get in touch with my lively self.