engineering school gothic
- you are in three classes that use bernoulli’s equation. none of the equations are the same. your teachers do not know who bernoulli is. did bernoulli even exist?
- there is a problem set. it is not on the syllabus. the first question is a blank page. you look through the whole set. it is all blank, except for the last page. you think it says “run”. you do not know. it is not written in binary.
- this is an ethics class. you are not sure why you are here. you do not need ethics. you have never needed ethics. “it’s a joke class,” whispers an upperclassman. you do not understand why it is funny.
- abet. the name echoes through the halls of the mechanical engineering building. no one knows what it means.
- you are studying the tacoma narrows bridge for the fifth time. your differential equations professor tells you it is not an example of resonance. your engineering professor tells you it is. you are not sure who to trust.
- there are six bernoullis. only four of them are related. they all look the same.
- the environmental science majors have to take a class to learn excel. you do not understand. you have always known excel, haven’t you? you do not remember learning it.
- you solve a triple integral and stop, confused. it has become a ricotti equation. you have forgotten ohm’s law.
- euler has done everything. there is a portrait of euler in the english building. when you look into its eyes, something disturbs you on a visceral level.
- your professor cancels class. you suspect a trick. when you arrive to the classroom, your entire class is there, watching the empty space where the professor should be. no one speaks. no one leaves.
- the problem set is optional. the problem set is not optional. the problem set is about schrodinger’s law.
- three different people have explained mechatronics to you. nobody knows what it is.
- your friend says they have essays to write. essays? you cannot remember what a word document looks like. you have not written a paragraph in two years. words are abstract concepts without meaning.
- “you’re an engineer?” someone asks. “you must be smart.” you begin to laugh. you have them all fooled. you cannot stop laughing.
- no one is sure what systems engineering is. the lights in the systems building are always on. you have never seen someone come out.
- your professors all do research. there are bloodstains on their lecture notes. you do not ask what they research. the last person to ask vanished at the start of the semester. your computer science professor hasn’t stopped smiling since.
- when you attend career fairs,
you are surrounded by students you have never seen and companies you
have never heard of. “we’re an innovative start-up,” someone says.
“we’re an innovative start-up,” you hear echoed down the hall three
weeks later. the words have not stopped. you cannot sleep. you are an