Welcome to Winter 2012

I have many new students in the winter semester.  It is to those students I address this message:

  • Assuming you were “mature” at the age of 16, then I’ve been an adult 17 times longer than you.  Appreciate the experience that this entails.
  • I am not your enemy, but I will not tolerate any bullshit in my classes.
  • I am here to help, but it’s up to you to ask.  Per Euripidessilence gives consent.  That is, if there are no questions, then I assume everyone knows what’s going on.
  • I don’t care what you do outside class.  In class, however, you will act as responsible and mature men and women.  (This means following both the Student Code of Academic Conduct and the Student Code of Nonacademic Conduct.)
  • I don’t care what your grade is, and neither should you.  You’re only interest should be in doing a little better this semester than you did last semester.
  • The only way to learn to draw is to draw a lot.  If you don’t do more questions than just those assigned for homework, you will not do well.
  • Technical drawings and CAD models are a language.  Think of it that way, and learning it will be easier.
  • Practicing engineering is riskier than even medicine.  A practicing physician can, with a single error, kill a patient (or two, e.g. during a transplant).  An engineer can kill hundreds (mis-designing a bolt that holds an engine onto a place, which actually happened to the old DC-10).
  • My job is as much to help them learn as it is to stop from graduating those who I sincerely believe are likely to do harm.
  • Students are the horses.  Engineering is the water.  I can lead them to it, but I can’t make them graduate.  In the end, it’s up to you.
  • You learn much more from your mistakes than from your successes.

2 Replies to “Welcome to Winter 2012”

  1. “mis-designing a bolt that holds an engine onto a plance”

    Is “plance” a typo? Just curious.

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