I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time, now - almost a month, in fact. I first had the idea when I was away from my computer (can’t remember where I was, only that I was away). I then forgot about it and it only popped up again in the last week or so. Anyway, here goes:
So, that which annoys me. People. Okay, well not all people, but many of them. The ones who don’t do three specific things. The first it those who give up without trying hard enough, the second, is those who act before they think and the third, those who act illogically. Truth is, I think that they are very similar.
Now, update. Holidays. Not really holidays because the parents are making me help them with menial stuff which doesn’t really make sense. Anyway, they give me free food, so I’m not gonna complain. Starting two weeks of charitable gift wrapping tomorrow, with a certain person who shall not be named (Ahem! Tay *cough cough*)
Also, work has begun on my little minis (aren’t they amazing?), I’m hoping to get that done before varsity (SECOND YEAR!!) starts again.
I have nothing to write on…I’m blank.
Oh well, bye for now.
Today we live in a world of technology - controlled by those with it, owned by those who have it, admired by those who use it. The reality is that we can not survive without technology anymore. I recently wrote an essay on how much we depend on it to be as civilized as we are.
Another reality, is that any and every piece of tech used today is designed by an engineer. Some person has slogged, slaved and studied their way through hundreds of partial-differential equations, scientific theorems and modes of practice for a number of years so that you, for what is a comparatively low price can enjoy a device which will, in some way, make your life better.
Now I know the notion of needing these things to lead a good life is considered material, but ask yourself honestly what you would do without your car, cellphone, refrigerator or even clean water. The reality is that the world needs engineers - it’s not a statement of pride or ego (ok maybe it it, but it is true nonetheless).
Their are two crazy bits of engineering that I don’t think I shall ever truly understand: the first, is the fact that the lonely, unsociable soul who braved the waves of engineering school and was beaten and battered and bruised, but came out a better person enjoyed it. Talking from personal experience - and beware the nerdiness that is about to appear - I get excited in some way when I see a particularly difficult problem. We enjoy these seemingly insurmountable challenges, even though it makes no sense to do so.
My reason for this is the determination to somewhat resemble my seniors who have used “brain and heart” to make the machine icons I grew up admiring. Perhaps the world of engineers is self-sustaining. Boy sees car. Boy falls in love. Boy becomes engineer. Engineer designs another car. Another boy sees it - so the cycle continues. It is beautiful.
The other thing, and this is undeniable, is the beauty in what engineers create. The limits of technology today have simply run circles around anything anyone of the past even hoped for; and those limits are being pushed every single day. On top of the absolute proficiency at which technology acts once it is given life, is the effect (see profound) on which it has on the senses.
It is remarkable to see that out of mere mathematical equations and scientific principa, come shapes designed only to be aerodynamic, but are so appealing to the eye - Enzo Ferrari. One might argue that this is only because well, “It’s a Ferrari”, but look around you. Buildings, boats, phones all have this appeal to them. Heck, even some mineshafts have an aura of revere about them, and you can’t help but feel like David in front of an impressive Goliath.
I am proud to be an engineering student, and would gladly become the unsociable man who has seen four years of the harshest torture. It is beautiful.
My first real snow day in SA. There is absolutely no way to escribe how a bit of frozen water sends thousands of educated people into a frenzy, one that resulted in me participating in a 1000-man snowball fight.
So much fun.
Recently I’ve forgotten about my poor blog. Ok that’s a lie. It’s been in my thoughts constantly, but I just haven’t taken the occasion to actually service it.
An update on my life. 1st semester is over. What a way to go. Results were decent. Just a minor hiccup on physics but no collateral damage. I’m half way through 3rd block, and all the promises I made myself of “no procrastination” etc etc have been broken. Yes. I am extremely far behind on work. But who isn’t?
Truth be told, the only reason I’m doing this post is because I find myself with 2 hours and damaged student card which won’t let me into the library. Also, a fair amount of guilt for my abused little bit of skrywing.
Not much has changed since my last post. Still same old, same old. I am, however, enjoying life considerably more due to the impact on person in particular is having on my life.
So this is where I run out of things to say.
The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. I’ve always loves space. It’s so interesting.
Last night I watched “3 Idiots”, a movie about a guy who goes to college, graduates top of his class, and then gives the degree to someone else. He did it simply for the love of learning, to satisfy his appetite for knowledge.
This movie was a bit closer to home for me, because he, like I am now, was studying engineering. Mechanical engineering too. I saw brief flashes of my life there; the high-expectations lecturers, the by-the-book-or-you’ll-fail teaching methods, and above all, the constant, unbearable pressure of your workload, reading list and study guides, collectively both squeezing and stretching your mind into the “plastic region” (quote my best friend, Galit Seligman - good science joke).
I, like the man in the movie, do engineering because I love it. Because when I would explore my father’s workshop as a tyke, I thought “Ooooh, look at that”, and also because when I see a BMW drive past I get shivers. Brrrrr…
I don’t want the degree, I want the knowledge. (I would be perfectly content with running a car repair workshop and fiddling with engines till I go old, bald and senile) Of course, those go hand in hand, and to get the former (which is to get the latter), you need to pass. So instead of learning to apply the knowledge, I find myself almost cramming just enough to pass my test. Now, I’m not saying that course is too difficult (which it is) or that there isn’t enough time (which there isn’t), but there is something about a set curriculum per time period (that’s engineering speak) that limits a person’s thinking capacity.
The whole culture in engineering is that you have to outlast the others. Here at Wits, which is a great big fine institution, we boast a graduation rate of, wait for it, ten whole percent. Engineering is the most difficult course one can find, let there be no doubt about it, but when you add to that the pressure of trying to keep up with the pack (which is a minority), you can’t help but feel lost at sea.
Now, those of you as cynical as I am will think “Aaah, here’s an anarchist”, and my reply is yes, I am one, but not chemotherapeutically so. I know what needs to be in. Also, this is my blog, and I may do with it as I please.