I was always good at math and science. However, when I was in elementary school a teacher put me in a math class one grade level ahead where I floundered. At that point I was labeled as having a “poor” math aptitude and ended up in related math in high school. High school held very little interest for me, but I loved high school biology, where I excelled. I remember my biology teacher would put little comments on my test papers such as “pretty good for a girl.” After my junior year in high school I dropped out. It was the summer of 1969, and yes I do remember it. At age 21 I met my husband while I was working as a secretary for the city of Houston Health Department. I used to try to impress people by telling them that I was just working for a while and intended to go to college. My husband believed it, and literally dragged me to sign up for college courses at Houston Community College. Not only did my husband spark a life long love of learning, but he also fostered a love for the outdoors; particularly backpacking. This is something we still enjoy together today, but the rules have changed as I now have to carry my own rocks.
When I earned enough course credits from Houston Community college we transferred to Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. During my first semester I declared elementary education as a major. I had to have a science credit, so the first semester I took geology and introduction to elementary education. I made an A in geology and a C in education. I fell in love with the science of geology, and it’s a passion that continues today. Despite the C in the education course I graduated magna cum laude, and went on to complete my MS in geology. Would I do this again? Without question I would. There is nothing quite like sitting in a logging truck and seeing a piece of the earth that no one else has seen before. There is nothing quite like the thrill of standing on a rig floor and watching the gas meter on the FT chamber spin round and round, and it’s all because you had an idea.
Gloria Sprague – Geologist