Ep.5 Rock Psych 101

Ep. 5 Rockcast Podosophy

RR: Ok, this would be Episode five of Rockcast Podosophy. This is Rock Rat. We are sitting, I am sitting here with the lovely, enchanted Megan Schindler, in the Rocket Bakery, on Cedar. It’s a good location.

Megan: Hey.

RR: You want to introduce yourself better than that?

Megan: Yea, so, um, my name’s Megan. My background is in psychology and currently I work in counseling. But, Rock Rat, a couple weeks ago, you asked me what my experience was with childhood development. And, kind of, your experiences, and people talking about rock stories. And how that originated in their childhood. And, I’m not an expert in child psychology – by any stretch of the imagination- but, I have worked with kids. And I have studied, ya know, developmental theories and how we grow into adults. Kind of. And, um, it just- it made a lot of sense to me based on what I know of psychology, of why people are fascinated with rocks starting in childhood and why that kind of originates. And so, we just kind of,… that idea has been kind of festering in my mind since we had that very brief conversation.

RR: And that was a good time. And we were very- we were actually very close to this exact location, weren’t we?

Megan: Yea.

RR: We drove by? Yea.

Megan: Yea.

RR: Cool. So, um, the background in this is that, when I talk to people, a lot of times they..when I ask about the rocks…things…you know, “Oh, you got that rock! Hey, man, let’s connect over it. Do you like rocks? Tell me why you like rocks. Let’s share this bond -excuse me- over these pillars of the Rockosophy….mantle. And usually they’re just like, “I’ve loved rocks since I was a little kid.” And then they tell me, like, this really pivitol story about, ya know, like Kent in Episode 4. You know, they had a geologist who had a pile of rocks that, you know, kids would go through the neighborhood, and then they just keep doing it and they never give it up. I was in an informational interview with an individual who is an Outreach Environmental Educator through…the county? Pierce County, I think, and I had a notebook that Bristol -what’s up Bristol Underwood, I love you- gave me for Christmas last year, and it had agates on it. It had Lake Superior agates on it that she got from a rock shop. Because she loves me and she knows the way to my heart. And, um, I was taking notes, because…ya know…as one does, as one Rock Rat does, just…compulsively…writing things down…

Megan: It’s true.

RR: Yea, and, she- don’t look at me like that- and she was just like, “Oh, agates, that’s cool, yea. I used to collect them when I was a kid.” And I got all excited and I was all, “Do you still do that?!” And she was just like, “No…I…I mean that’s a lot of stuff…” Because you know the anti-materialism thing that’s really popular right now?

Megan: Yea.

RR: And she was like, “Yea, I don’t need any more stuff. And also…ya know I was a kid when I did it.”

Megan: Yea.

RR: And, ya know, I became very embarrassed and I was like, “Oh…yea, nevermind. I’m not into rocks either….har har...”

Megan: So, I’ll be honest. I mean, I feel like most kinds are – start collecting something or get…really involved in something. But when they get older they don’t necessarily know that there’s a culture built around that activity still. Or they don’t stay connected to that activity. And so, it’s like something that is connected to childhood but they’re supposed to grow out of. Or they get shamed for it as an adult.

RR: Yea.

Megan: Like, I had a baseball card collection, but it’s not cool to be an adult with a baseball card collection. You know what I mean? I feel like a lot of people feel the same way, if they’re not connected to the rockhounding community.

RR: Yea, I think it also has a lot to do with the support. Which is true for any hobby, but, like, my grandparents were both educators. My grandmother got her Masters in Education in the 50s, because that’s how the Kaufman Clan does, and I mean both of them were just super supportive of my rockhounding hobby. Like, I mean, even when they were, ya know, deteriorating due to just age, ya know, it was still the thing they remembered from my childhood. It was me picking through their decorative gravel and being like, “Can I keep that? Look at this one!” And my grandmother, like, pretending to be very interested, and being like, “Yes,” or, “No, we need that because it’s part of the gravel. It’s part of our landscaping, Tori.” But, um, and I have a post about my Stone Soup experience, but I should really sit down with my sister. And we could really talk about Stone Soup and how that is a pivotal part of our childhood. But, so like, my grandpar- so, like, circling back to …the point. Is that they were educators and that they knew how important it was to foster these scientific interests. So, like, my first mason tool, my first rock pick was a gift from my grandparents. With a copy of Geology Underfoot in Illinois and then my grandmother took my geode hunting in this creek, that she knew of from another educator friend of hers. So, like, you have to foster it.

Megan: And that’s not a culture that I grew up with. I mean, being someone who is first generation and coming from a world where-

RR: First generation in what?

Megan: First generation in college students.

RR: Right.

Megan: Um, or you know, the first generation to have higher level degrees. And, but, as someone who works in development and counseling, um, you know, we know how important it is to foster that curiosity. And how it literally is what you brain needs, is that exploration of the world.

RR: When, so,…like…So one of the four pillars of rockosophy- the Four Pillars, just for those of you who don’t know are: Rocks, Philosophy, Nature Hobbies, and Human Connectivity. So when you say that are we still talking about childhood development? Or are we talking about like in general? Because I took that as, like, every human right now needs that kind of expression or attached to their environment.

Megan: I mean, I think that’s an accurate statement. But when I said it, I was talking about childhood development.

RR: Ok.

Megan: And like brain development is….your brain needs stimulation. And so much of that comes from your external environment and through your, like, infancy and toddlerhood. I mean, that’s why babies stick everything in their mouths, you know. It’s to learn about the world.

RR: So would it surprise you that my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jon have a photo somewhere of me, like, being like three and having a mouth full of rocks? Like, they took a photo of it.

Megan: No.

RR: No.

Megan: No.

RR: I mean, psychologically, does that make sense?

Megan: Yea, so, um, so…..I know where you’re going with this.

RR: Do you? Do you? Tell me where I am going with this, Megan Schindler.

Megan: I feel like you’re giving me a lead-in to developmental stage theories.

RR: I’m just….sharing.

Megan: Ok.

RR: Well, rockologically sharing my rockiness. Rocks….rocks…

Megan: So, like in the field of psychology, we try to boil things down and explain them in Stage Theories, right?