“Optimist: The glass is half full.
Pessimist: The glass is half empty.
Engineer: That glass is twice as large as it needs to be.”
It’s just this thing I can’t describe. But sometimes when I go to the Engineering Quad, it’s like going to the most foreign place on Earth.
Don’t get me wrong. I passed science and math classes (yes, even calculus) with fine grades in high school and college. I’m not trying to brag or anything – I’m just trying to give you a baseline for where I’m coming from here. Despite the stereotypes, I know some pretty cool engineers – I have a lot of friends, a lot of good friends, who call this special place their home.
But there is just something about when I head south on East Avenue and run into buildings like Phillips and Rhodes (the scariest building on campus – no straight hallways, and they are all dark!) that I feel super out of the loop. All of the buildings connect – which is great when you’re trying to avoid the snow. But not so hot when you’re trying to find a prof’s room, and you realize you are four buildings away.
Let’s take 4:30 on a Friday. At this time, my beloved Arts Quad is usually quiet enough to hear a pin drop – the students have checked out for the weekend, or are absorbed in reading the latest novel or discussing philosophy in some corner of a cafe in Collegetown.
But apparently we’re all missing the party, because last Friday afternoon when I was on the Engineering Quad, the place looked like Mardi Gras. It was packed, students running around, all dolled up (goggles and aprons are the fashion rage on this side of Ho Plaza). I commented to an engineer I saw about this cultural phenomena. He looked at me like I obviously wasn’t cool because I wasn’t a regular at this event.
In the end, I am incredibly thankful for the engineers. They always fix my lap top for me or show me how to get my iPod going again. If you want my hero worship, be a computer science, chemical or electrical engineering major. Or, be able to name all of the Presidents of the United States in order. I consider all of the above equally awe inspiring.
So maybe I should hang out more in Duffield – get to know my way around. After all, there are only about three times ever I have walked past this building and not seen anyone studying (and let me tell you, they were some pretty strange times). I’m sure the engineers there are friendly people. And when I meet that special someone who knows something about PCs and Franklin Pierce, I’ll have found my new best friend. It just might take walking through seven buildings to find this said person, but at least I won’t have to worry about the wind messing up my hair.
Especially with my goggles to hold it in place . . .