Chapter 1 – The Fate of Twin Sisters (1)
[Educational Experience: Ph.D. student]
[Likes: Geology, American Studies, Family, Gender, Fitness, Pets, Food]
[Field of Excellence: Geology]
[Dislikes: Entertainment gossip]
- Will children whose parents are divorced have behavioral problems in the future?
‘…Thank you for asking me. And that’s utter rubbish!
- How does it feel like to have a twin sister?
‘…Thank you. My sister and I haven’t seen each other for ten years.’
- Do you feel lonely, being single for 18 years?
‘… Thank you. And correction, I have been single for twenty-eight years. Although there are physical needs from time to time, there are no psychological needs.’
- After staying abroad for so many years, how do you deal with homesickness?
‘… Thank you. This geological dog is either exploring or on her way to explore—I always want to take a bath and literally have no time to miss home.’
- My Moe Xin is out in the wilderness for the first time. Does the predecessor have any advice for her and her fellow students?
‘Be obedient, work more, follow the teacher and don’t fall behind. Be sure to wear your most comfortable shoes and pay attention to sun protection and insect prevention. Don’t drink too much water or else, you might not be able to refill it; only moisten your throat when you are thirsty. Girls should reduce the number of times they go to the toilet in the wilderness. If there are cases of menstruation, they should pay attention to carrying sanitary napkins with blood and guard themselves against wild animals at all times.’
- As a girl studying geology, have you ever thought about changing your major?
‘I have never thought about it. The earth has existed in the universe for more than 4.5 billion years, whereas my life can only be less than 100 years. Just like the sea of white clouds, life has to go on. As long as I can get closer to my goals, I will live up to my dream.’
- How does Doctor Delay feel?
‘… Who asked that? Get Lost!’
The Yellowstone National Park** during summer has always been the favorite camping place for Americans.
**T/N: The Yellowstone National Park in the United States
Although Yellowstone Park is basically called a “park”, it spans around three states and covers an area larger than Shanghai, China. It is the world’s first natural park, inhabited by countless animals and with the most amazing geological landscapes.
Whether in spring, summer, autumn or winter, Yellowstone Park has an endless stream of tourists.
Today, many of these tourists have dark hair, black eyes, and pale yellowish skin.
Yes! Your hunch is right! Young Asian students are currently visiting the park today.
Heavy pickup trucks with tires, 130 cm in diameter, crossed the hill and had a crash halt on the famous Grand Canyon observation deck.
Inside the truck, a dozen young students were sitting starry-eyed, while many of them were already dazed from the bumpy road conditions; they looked pale, and some have even vomited into their plastic bags.
Ugh! The smell!
When the truck door opened, a pair of beige hiking boots with mud spots stuck on the soles came out from the driver’s seat. The owner of the shoes jumped lightly and landed deftly on the ground.
Su Jishi took off her sunglasses and threw them back onto the seat of her truck. She gathered her shoulder-length hair together with her two hands and carelessly tied it with a rubber band. The untidy end of her hair was pressed under a straw hat, an accessory she didn’t mind wearing.
Who cares about fashion trends? Not her!
Most of her face was hidden behind a sweat-absorbent scarf, revealing only a pair of dark and deep eyes, penetrating and intimidating anyone who looks at it.
Truly, an unruly individual different from the rest of the girls in her age.
She was wrapped from top to bottom, her cuffs and trousers fastened with silver reflective tape. Her shoulders and back were slender, but the kettle, compass, magnifying glass and her favorite geological hammer were inserted inside her pockets, making her look like a huge lump of mess.
By the time Su Jishi finished making herself presentable, well, according to her standard that is, the students in the pickup truck still hadn’t recovered.
Su Jishi stood beside the truck with her arms casually resting on her chest, getting impatient by the minute, she urged in a booming voice, “Get out of the car quickly!”
The students turned pale one by one, but no one dared to complain. They helped each other and jumped down from the tall pickup truck.
These 17 and 18-year-old youths were all freshmen in the Earth Science department of Hong Kong University.
The University of Hong Kong’s vision was for the students to aim for the sky. While other universities send their students to Beidaihe in Zhoukoudian, the nearest geological practice center, the University of Hong Kong directly sends all their freshmen to Yellowstone Park in the United States. The leading teacher of this HKU practicum was the vice-president of the Department of Geosciences.
And to Su Jishi’s dismay, he was recently admitted to the hospital.
Su Jishi’s tutor, in order to help his friend, asked Su Jishi who was also a Chinese, to come over for a few days as a “babysitter” — to let this old geological dog walk through the Yellowstone Park together with these geological puppies.
Therefore, Su Jishi found herself in a very unfortunate situation. Ah! She felt so frustrated. Fortunately, she became accustomed to the teenagers after a few days of being with them.
It’s a pity that the students who went out for the first time greatly underestimated the difficulty of field practicums and thought they came to visit the United States like it was a vacation.
As a result, accidents occurred frequently within the week, such as those who sprained their feet, had painful sunburns, bitten by poisonous insects, fell into lakes, and fell down from the mountains.
Well, enough of that, there has really been a lot of falling that had happened these past few days.
According to the work schedule, the last project of this ‘Yellowstone Park Field Practicum’ is to let the students observe the volcanic rocks in the Grand Canyon and draw geological structure maps.
There was no table in the surroundings, and the geological puppies could only crouch and lie on the ground, each holding a small notebook and recording what they saw as Su Jishi walked around them from time to time to answer their questions.
She is a Ph.D. student and was more than qualified to guide these undergraduate freshmen. She spends at least 100 days in the wild every year and has naturally been to vast deserts, plateaus, and caves.
Her white male classmates admired her perseverance and desperation. Unfortunately, she was so unlucky that she made a mistake in her doctoral dissertation before it was finished, which delayed her graduation for another year.
“… Miss Su, Miss Su!”
Su Jishi was awakened from meditation. Her attention had been deeply invested in the nature around her, that she didn’t notice that the geological puppies had started to surround her.
Did someone fall again? She hoped not!