When I was little, say somewhere around six or seven, I had a rock collection. I liked rocks, especially the ones I considered pretty. Most of the people I interacted with at the time were adult relatives and they looked at my collection, kept in an old pepper box, and said, "It's nice, but it's really just a pile of pretty rocks."

Knowing that I loved to read they gave me books about rock collecting and geology. I enjoyed the books and enjoyed the process of learning from them. My favorite was an illustrated field guide that had full color pictures of beautiful rocks with beautiful names, like tourmaline. This book helped me identify one of my favorite rocks, a piece of jasper that had a nice creamy texture.

One of the things that I learned from these books was how to organize a rock collection. So I took my jumble of rocks and began sorting them. I put them into egg cartons, one rock per cup, and labeled all the ones I had identified. I might have even added the location where I found them.

Everyone was now impressed with my rock collection.

I lost interest in my rock collection shortly after organizing it.

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