beautiful engineering


Some extra shots from my graduation photo shoot last month. Thankful to make it through and blessed to be ( officially) a mechanical engineer! S/O to all the HBCU’s especially mine Alabama A&M University!!!!!!!! New job starts in august. ready to start this new chapter in life! 

SN: I apologize in advance for the lengthy post lol!

I was trying to figure out where mechanical engineering majors would fit in at Elsewhere University, since the fair folk probably wouldn’t want to hang out in the same places mech engineers do…


There’s a frantic knocking on the door and Hadassah opens it. 

“Someone’s after me.” Dassi recognizes Laurel, an English student who always has the most beautiful words. Now, her words are stilted, tripping over themselves. “One of the Gentry–Forgot my ring and salt, I’m dizzy, can’t think straight–”

Dassi ushers her in. “Come on.” She closes the heavy door behind her and shoots the iron bolt home, but it almost doesn’t matter. There’s not a single member of the fair folk of Elsewhere University who would come in here.

Laurel’s nose wrinkles as she takes a deep breath; it’s a common expression for those who don’t come to the machine shop often. But to Dassi, the smell of iron and oil is home. 

Various students glance up as Laurel comes in; a few are working on projects at various hulking machines, but some are just camping out until the glamour clears from their eyes. Jack, the machinist, looks up and grins. “Another one? There’s hot chocolate in the back room. Milk in the fridge, too.”

Dassi and Laurel walk past the machines and Laurel looks around a little sadly. “I bet you barely see the Gentry at all.”

Dassi shrugs. “I mean, we do, just at much more of a distance than most of you.”

“I’m sorry.”

Dassi frowns. “I don’t think there’s anything to be sorry for. It doesn’t always seem like the best thing, to interact with them like that. I mean, look at the way you came in today.”

Laurel has a dreamlike, faraway gaze. “I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it’s worth it, to see and interact with those incredible beings. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

The back room has several students lounging on couches and chatting. Laurel immediately sees one of her friends–Tony forgets his protective items too often; he’s in here at least once a week–and goes to hang out with him, visibly relaxing. Dassi heads back out to the main floor of the machine shop. It had become a place of refuge for so many students trying to escape temporary attentions from the fair folk that there were more non-engineers than engineers in here right now. 

Ahmed almost immediately jumps in front of her. “Dassi, check it out!” He’s holding that little piece of iron that had been giving them so much trouble over the past week. “I really, really think this will fit.”

Dassi laughs and grabs it. “Yeah, but you said that every time we tried to work on it. Look, if it doesn’t work this time, maybe we should try adjusting the housing instead.”

“Yeah, yeah. But seriously, Dassi, I have a good feeling about this!” Ahmed’s hair and clothes sparkle faintly with iron filings caught there, and there’s a small burn from a soldering iron healing on his thumb. 

Dassi glances down at herself. There’s a huge oil stain on one leg of her jeans, and her fingertips are stained green by the copper wires she’d been wrestling with earlier. Engineering leaves so many little physical marks.

She and Ahmed walk over to the workbench and she inhales the scent of solder smoke, oil, iron…she spends so much time here that the smell comes back to her dorm room with her and settles in a little deeper every night. There’s no smell that speaks so strongly of peace and security as this one.

She and Ahmed bend to their work and she sees that his eyes are sparkling with the same excitement she feels, brighter than pure copper. The feeling she gets when one of her creations works–there’s nothing that compares. It doesn’t matter that she can’t interact with the fair folk. She can protect her classmates from them, and that’s enough. And the discovery, the knowledge, the ability to create; it’s more than enough. She wouldn’t trade it for anything.


What a puzzle

Originally posted by wizardfrenchfries

He found his father-in-law in the sitting room that overlooked the rose garden and the fountain, where the western wall was only a thousand panes of polished glass. The sun was setting and the room was filled with the rich, amber sunlight of a late summer evening and the paler flickers from the hearth where drift-wood burned. Belle preferred the strangely shaped, salt-rimed wood to the traditional oak and pine for the unusual dancing color of the flames, the unpredictable shower of silver sparks, the fineness of the ash left in the hearth. Maurice was smoking a pipe and the smoke curled like twilight coming into the room, scenting the room with its sweetness.

“Maurice, I need to talk to you,” Adam began, running his hand through his hair half-distracted, marveling a little at how human it felt.

“I wondered how long it would take for you to figure it out,” Maurice said, puffing a little on the pipe, then setting it aside. “Frankly, I’m rather impressed with how quickly you have understood. I have perhaps underestimated you,” he said calmly, with an appraising amusement Adam had never been subjected to before. The older man made a small gesture of encouragement.

“It’s Belle. She’s…” Adam trailed off, searching himself for the correct word, the right collection of words that would explain it.

“She’s terrifying,” her father said plainly. “She’s always been this way, you know. Imagine how it was for me, I could hardly speak of it, of her, to anyone else. And such a little girl, no one would have believed me.”

“I thought she just liked to read. I thought she was very bright, self-taught– I thought,” Adam said. Maurice interrupted.

“You thought you could keep up with her. That it would be easy to do so, no?”

“I found her reading Vitruvius and Taccola, di Giorgio in the library. I didn’t know I owned the books, but I do. We do. I hardly knew who they were but she explained. I thought she would be reading Marlowe or Sidney or Marie de France, getting drunk on poetry, but she is designing a new mill and a bridge for Villeneuve now!” Adam exclaimed.

“When she was four, she built herself an abacus from the clock-work gears she found in my workshop. She learned German from the Belgian woman who made the best rolls in town when we were in Bergues, Latin from the priest,” Maurice paused. “I always wished there was an academy for her to attend, a tutor I could hire but there was no school which would take her, no teacher I could afford. Even to buy her a book was beyond me.”

“Does she love me only for my library?” Adam asked, aware he sounded overly dramatic, the echo of the self he had been before Belle, before the Beast, when he had been the prince and never gainsaid by anyone. Maurice just laughed.

“Of course not, you young fool. She is my daughter, but I’m not blind—anyone can see how she looks at you. But you must see her, understand her, if you want to make her happy—and it may not be easy. She’s not an easy woman, Belle, even if she might seem that way,” Maurice said.

“Go on,” Adam said. He had not yet learned enough humility to ask for the guidance he needed but if it was being offered, as Maurice was doing…

“She read all the time because as odd as it was, the villagers could understand it. There have been women who loved God’s word before and this is France, we have had our troubadours, our lays, our Heloise to Abelard. They could not understand a woman who was an engineer, who could rebuild their crumbling bridge, their windmills, re-design a city to resist the plague. To be fair, I’m not sure where she might go that the people would know what to make of her. But you, you have been several selves already, have been transformed and taught, however bluntly, by Madame Agathe, to see within and to accept. You might be the making of her,” Maurice said, pausing. “And I should like to see it. Her mother was much the same and I only painted her. Don’t do that.”

“I haven’t the skill or the inclination,” Adam replied, considering what a lovely model Belle would make, except that the static representation could never capture her essential quality of action, her mind, her eye, her hand all vital and primed to observe and change what was around her.

“Devote your talents to other endeavors, then. Buy her more books, yes, but also a surveyor’s kit, some broken clocks, a quantity of charcoal and paper, and if there is an opportunity for you to consult an architect, invite the man to dinner,” Maurice said. “You’re lucky,” he added. “You may invite whatever guests will please her and not worry that she will prepare the meal. She has many gifts, but cooking bores her. The kitchen doesn’t take such inattention lightly.”

“No, I gather from Mrs. Potts it does not. Have you any other wisdom to impart?” Adam answered.

“Nothing you cannot divine for yourself. You are intelligent enough, even if you are not her equal. Don’t let her know it and don’t forget it. Now, what vintage will we share tonight? A Burgundy? I thought I smelled some capon…”