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As an undergraduate student at UMass Don Hattin recorded in detail events which colored each day with the trials and triumphs of academic life. He recounts the low cost of attending college, fun and facts about dormitory life, seemingly endless drudgery of homework, unfounded fear of earning poor grades, and classes of great interest versus those without redeeming characteristics or content. Don describes the antics of dormitory life, which leave the reader wondering how and when studying was done. Don shares treasured memories of work in the College Store, where many humorous events occurred, and lively association with faculty and students in the Geology Department, where genuine camaraderie accompanied work in the classroom, laboratory and field. As a T.A. at the University of Kansas, Don discovered the joy of teaching and field work. His master’s thesis research on Cretaceous-age rocks was prompted by a future member of the National Academy of Science, leading initially to both fun and temporary futility of work on the Kansas prairie. At the doctoral level, Don was mentored by a world-famous paleontologist who was intimidating in the office but a mellow field geologist. Just once, Don challenged his mentor on identification of a fossil, and won! During this interval, a key geology faculty member departed, resulting in Don’s appointment as Instructor to teach two courses, thus enabling Don to gain skills needed when assuming a professional role. While interviewing in Ohio for a full time teaching position, Don received a call from the geology chairman at Indiana University, where a short visit resulted in offer of an Assistant Professorship. Don’s acceptance let to a career-long association with that institution.

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