One of the best things about UCLA is the incredible faculty. Every member of our faculty is very accomplished and they are incredibly smart people. Of course, there are a few stars. I have the privilege of taking a geography class with Jared Diamond. Professor Diamond has written New York Times bestsellers including Guns Germs and Steel, has won numerous awards, and is considered a leading scholar in his field. His research is groundbreaking and has reshaped our perceptions of the ancient world and the effects of geography and history on current events. Just like any other professor at UCLA, Professor Diamond is required to hold office hours. Fortunately he is very approachable and is known to make his students tea during the office hour. Even if you do not have specific questions about class he is more than willing to talk to you about things and it is a great opportunity to learn from the best and brightest.   When Professor Diamond speaks you tend to listen, so when one day in lecture he told us we all should go to the La Brea Tar Pits I took his advice and went.

I have been meaning to go for a while because it is only a short distance from campus and it is a very fascinating place. At La Brea many pre-historic animals have been well preserved after being trapped in the abundant tar pits. These animals include saber-tooth cats, wooly mammoths, giant ground sloths, short faced bears, and dire wolves.  It also includes a nice park and active excavation sites. It is hard to believe that a place like this could exist in the middle of LA. When you go to the tar pits, it is like stepping back in time. The contrast between modern LA and the prehistoric version is amazing. When I went on Friday it was a beautiful day, and I decided to make a day out of it. I went with my friend, and we brought lunch to eat in the park, went to the museum and then stopped by LACMA (Los Angeles Count Museum of Art). This day is a perfect example of why UCLA is so great. I was inspired by my fantastic professor to go see something I have not seen before, and being in LA makes everything so close and accessible. GO BRUINS!

One thought on “A Day in Pre-History

  1. Hi Steven, My name is Grace. I am a student at a University here in San Diego, California. I was intrigued by the work of Jared Diamond and have decided to write about his life as an author. Please feel free to contact me at my email, grace.c.henry@hotmail.com. I would love to hear more about him. Thanks.

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