For most of my high school career I worked part time at my aunt's home made ice cream shop. Every thursday the 1st waitress had to scrape the front display ice box, as ice would build up on the edges. Today Drew and I spent the morning chipping away ice from the freezer we keep our frozen Antarctica samples in. Apparently all freezers are just as guilty of doing their job more than we would like them to.
But it all just goes to show that you never know what skills will come in handy. We're all guilty of saying "Oh I'll never use this ever again" while in school - especially in math. When really, the odds are, you WILL use it again. I hated math, but now, even though it's still not my favorite, I can recognize its usefulness. Just the other day I was in the lab learning about GIS (Geographic Information System) and I had to think back to my calculus days in order to better understand what the computer was trying to do. Everything serves its purpose, and you should never pass up on the opportunity to learn a new skill. You never know how passing knowledge will effect you later on!
When I learned how to tie a bowline knot fishing off the dock in my youth -I never thought it would be a key step in conducting ground water research at my BURECS internship this summer. When I learned the best way to pack a car for a family vacation - I never thought I would be utilizing those packing skills to pack up my duffel bag for an Antarctic expedition!
I guess my point is that you should always keep an open mind and be on the lookout to learn. Useful skills and incredibly knowledgeable people are all around you - you just need to pay attention. Don't knock it until you try it, ya know? I'm sure that I will be learning all kinds of new skills during my time on the ice. Theres so much that goes into camping in the wild, from simply pitching a tent... and pitching that tent in a blizzard... to cooking with minimal supplies. I'll also learn technical skills as well, like how to correctly use a DSLR camera.... or rather how to use a DSLR camera in mittens. In any case, I plan to utilize this opportunity to learn and keep my eyes open for new skills.
As the saying goes. "Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one"!