Some rocks are so boring; they are the color of dirt, not cool shapes, and basically pass right in front of your eyes with out you noticing them. These rocks do not deserve our attention, and should be ashamed to call themselves rocks. At least this is how I feel when I compare these plain rocks to beautiful minerals with dazzling shapes and striking colors that leave me staring and drooling for hours at a time. Well, maybe not drooling, but they are great to view.
Now I will have difficulty getting to class on time, because a vast collection of these stones has been donated to UMass Amherst, of which a portion will be displayed in the halls of Morrill, one of the science buildings on campus. This amazing array of minerals in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors used to belong to Marvin Rausch. Rausch taught at UMass Amherst until 2008, when he passed away. Now Rausch’s passion for minerals can be shared with thousands of students every day.
The specimens in Rausch’s collection vary widely, and many are quite sizable. Many are so large that they need to be held with two hands, boulders of crystals. Some of the specimens have external crystals, others are geodes, which have crystals growing on the inside of a stone. These natural phenomena are an amazing and mysterious occurrence, and UMass is lucky to have these gems. Maybe not me so much, but at least I’ll have something pretty to look at on my way to try to get to class.
Written by: Erik Alvarenga