Pumps, Turbines and Other Engineering Mysteries

This post was going to be about how my experiences so far in my internship (though interesting and enjoyable) have shown me that almost nothing I’ve learned in school is preparing me to actually be an engineer. Which is true. However in the course of discussing this idea with a friend, the conversation turned into an argument wherein I was told to stop complaining, pick up a book or search the internet and learn these basic engineering skills that I say I’m so sorely lacking.

Okay.

So which is it? Should I expect to be taught engineering fundamentals in school where I’m paying thousands of dollars a year to be educated or should I suck it up and teach these things to myself at the library and with guidance from Professor Google? As with most things in life, I don’t think the answer is black and white.
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Good Enough

So we’re five and a half weeks into spring semester and I’ve only posted twice? I’m sorry, guys. I’ve been distracted by life a bit lately, but I haven’t forgotten you! I’m happy to report that my absence is not due to being lost in the land of stress, chaos and mild nervous breakdowns. Compared to last semester, things are downright calm on the school front.

This post is really more of an extended question than a story. While the pace and tone of this semester is much more manageable than last, the material is not easy. Fluids has been a mess of derivatives and integrals that are all jumbled together in my head. Vibrations has been dynamics on steroids paired with a dizzying number of random greek variables that I have to keep straight somehow. It feels like every lecture is a marathon of rushing through derivations of complex theorems and equations and trying to just keep up, to say nothing of actually following the logic.

Fun with vibrations.

Fun with vibrations.

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The Princess and Her Toolbox

Every year at Christmas a few of my friends and I buy gifts for Toys for Tots in lieu of getting gifts for each other. Which means that once each year this single, happily childfree gal drives herself to a toy store, during the holiday season, and walks in. Deer in the headlights, right? Actually, no — I love going to toy stores. Why? Because, um, they’re toys. They’re fun. I remember all the things I used to love as a kid and, let’s be honest, would still happily play with if they were plunked in front of me and I had a few hours to kill.

Every parent's worst nightmare. Photo courtesy of Ian Muttoo's photostream on Flickr.

Every parent’s worst nightmare.
Photo courtesy of Ian Muttoo’s photostream on Flickr.

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